Christians flock to Israel each year to visit the sacred that connect them to the Holy Land. To say that Israel is rich in history is a gross understatement. It is well known that Jerusalem and the Galilee are popular places that hold such special significance for Christians, but did you know that Jaffa has some treasured Christian History and archaeological significance?
Jaffa Museum and Visitor’s Center
In Old Jaffa, set in the quaint Kedumim Square is the city’s museum and visitor’s center. There you will be introduced to the 5000-year history of the ancient and historic city of Jaffa. This is the best place to begin your Jaffa exploration of the best Christian sites in the city and learn where the famous story of Jonah and the Whale occurred. This famous and beautiful museum is a landmark in Jaffa and also holds archaeological finds from various biblical periods: Canaanites, Phoenicians, Philistines, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Hasmoneans, Romans, and the Byzantine, and Ottoman periods, according to their website. Check it out and from there head to the sites that most intrigue you.
St. Peter’s Church
Located in Old Jaffa, right above the famous port, is St. Peter’s Church—an old Franciscan Church. St. Peter, one of the 12 Apostles, was thought to be the most important of the 12 and was looked upon as the spokesperson. He had a vision that changed him and as result he started preaching the gospel. The church was initially built in 1654 and after it was destroyed it was rebuilt between 1888 and 1894.
Simon the Tanner
Significant to the story of St. Peter is this seaside home where St. Peter was said to have stayed after the resurrection of Saint Tabitha whom he saved after praying to the Lord. This spot is located at the site of St. Peter’s Church in Old Jaffa and commemorated there. All biblical references to St. Peter and Simon the Tanner can be found in the Book of Acts.
Russian Orthodox Church and St. Tabitha’s Tomb
Located in South Tel Aviv, the Russian Orthodox Church and Monastery are located just a few minutes from Jaffa. The stunning church was built in the 19th century. The architecture and design both inside and out are breathtaking. The Russian Orthodox Church commemorates St.Tabitha’s rise from the dead. Beside the church is the monastery that is said to be the burial place of St. Tabitha.
Jaffa, referred to as Joppa in biblical times, has one of the oldest port cities in the world. Right in the port of Jaffa is the exact place where the story of Jonah and the Whale took place. The mystique, magic, history and connection to the Holy Land revolve around the port or directly above it, where St. Peter’s Church proudly stands.
Don’t miss out ancient Jaffa!
Where to Stay
It is ideal to stay in a hotel in central Tel Aviv and make the beautiful city your home base while you explore the wonders of Jaffa. Tel Aviv is close to so many attractions both in the city in Jaffa, yet also allows for beach time if you want to sneak in some sun and sea! Located directly across from the beach is the Sea Executive Suites boutique hotel. The hotel is just a 10-minute car or bus ride from Jaffa, or a 35-minute walk along the stunning promenade. Make your trip unforgettable by staying at the most perfect hotel so you can be near ancient Jaffa, while feeling at home in your suite at the Sea Executive Suites!