Bringing Jaffa, Israel to life through the Artza Holy Land blog.

Explore the Holy Land through the Artza Holy Land blog. A pilgrimage through the country and discover the beauty and culture of the birthplace of Christianity.

a stone arch on the beach with the ocean in the background
By Daniel Goodman

Published June 11, 2023.

Jaffa port Israel Holy Land  harbor filled with lots of boats next to tall buildings

Embark on a journey and travel to the Holy Land through the lens of the 'Holy Land Artza Blog' series.

Discover the Holy Land's Rich Culture & History in Jaffa, Israel.

In this series, you will be taken on an immersive journey through the Holy Land. Exploring ancient, biblical, and modern stories, magnificent scenery, flavors, traditions, sites, and most importantly of all - we will introduce you to the people that call this place home.

Along the journey, you will meet all of the Israeli artisans and charities that we help support and explore the rich culture, history, and beauty of Israel. And for those of you who want a fully immersive experience of the land where Jesus walked, our Artza subscription box is designed to do just that.

Delivered quarterly, each locally sourced Artza box is packed with gorgeous, handcrafted gifts, foods, local spices, content, stories, scripture, and so much more! Delivered from the Holy Land directly to your home.

Location: Jaffa, Israel.

Our journey continues in Jaffa, Tel Aviv a significant city for Christians because of its connection to the early Christian church and the spread of the gospel.

The city of Jaffa has been inhabited for thousands of years and has been a centre of commerce, religion, and culture for many different civilizations over the centuries including the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Ottomans, and the British, among others. As a result, the city is home to a rich array of architectural styles and monuments, including the Jaffa Clock Tower, St. Peter's Church, and the Jaffa Port. Today, Jaffa is a vibrant and eclectic city that is a popular tourist destination, offering a unique mix of modern and ancient sights and experiences.

What is the meaning of the name Jaffa?

Jaffa is believed to derive its name from the Hebrew word "Yafo", which translates to "beautiful". The city has been known by this name for thousands of years and is mentioned in the Bible as a port city of ancient Israel. In ancient times, Jaffa was known for its beautiful natural harbour and its strategic location on the Mediterranean coast.

Things to do in & around the Jaffa, Israel.

Jaffa Museum of Antiquities: The Jaffa Museum of Antiquities features exhibits that explore the rich history and cultural heritage of Jaffa, including its biblical significance. Visitors can learn about the history of the city from the time of King David to the Ottoman period, and see artefacts from the biblical period.

St. Peter's Church: Visit St. Peter's Church. This historic church is dedicated to St. Peter and is built on the site where he is said to have received his vision from God instructing him to take the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-23).

House of Simon the Tanner: Visit the House of Simon the Tanner. This historic house is said to be the location where Peter stayed while in Jaffa and is mentioned in the Book of Acts.

a narrow street with stone buildings and tables and chairs

Who was Simon the Tanner? 

According to the Bible, Simon was a resident of Jaffa, a coastal city in ancient Israel, and a tanner by trade. In the New Testament, the apostle Peter had a vision in which he was commanded to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. After this vision, Peter went to the house of Simon the Tanner, where he stayed for a time. Simon the Tanner's name has become associated with the early spread of Christianity and his house is considered an iconic site of pilgrimage for many Christians visiting the Holy Land.

Walk the Jaffa Promenade: The promenade of Jaffa provides a beautiful and peaceful walk along the Mediterranean Sea, offering stunning views of the city and the sea, as well as a chance to reflect on the city's rich history and spiritual significance. Additionally, the promenade provides an opportunity to explore the historical and cultural heritage of Jaffa, with its charming old city, charming alleyways, ancient fortifications, and historic churches and synagogues.

Jaffa Port: The historic Jaffa Port offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the picturesque old city of Jaffa. The charming port area is surrounded by ancient stone buildings and narrow alleys, giving visitors a glimpse into the rich history of the area. The port of Jaffa was the place where Peter boarded a ship to Caesarea to visit Cornelius, and is, therefore, an important site for Christian pilgrimage. The combination of history, culture, and natural beauty makes Jaffa Port a must-visit destination for any traveller.

Jaffa Flea Market: The captivating Jaffa Flea Market (or Shuk HaPishpeshim in Hebrew) is not only a 100-year-old institution but a vibrant and eclectic hub for food, antiques, art, music, and culture. Situated in Tel Aviv just south of the romantic beachfront promenade. Spreading across atmospheric winding walkways that haven't changed in centuries, the market provides a great way to soak in some of the city's local architecture.

Biblical Significance: Jaffa is mentioned in both the old and the new testament and is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the New Testament it is known as the city where Peter received a vision from God instructing him to take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-23) This vision is considered a pivotal moment in the early Christian church and marked the beginning of the spread of the gospel beyond the Jewish community to Gentile audiences.

a view of a beach with a city in the background

Distance from Jerusalem: The distance from Jaffa to Jerusalem is approximately 52 kilometres (30 miles).

As we come to the close of our thirteenth Holy Land Artza Blog which takes you on a journey through Israel with us, we want to express our deepest gratitude for your participation. It has been a privilege to share with you the beauty, culture and traditions of this land that holds such a special place in our hearts thus far, and we are so excited for what is to come!

For those who seek a deeper connection to the Holy Land, our Artza subscription boxes are the next best thing to actually travelling to Israel, it is the best way to bring the Holy Land to your doorstep. Each Artza box is sent to you from a different region in Israel, and it is packed with up to eight stunning hand-crafted gifts, local foods, spices, art, scripture, ceramics and so much more - each carefully chosen from the local artisans and charities of that specific region - with the aim of bringing the Holy Land to life in the most meaningful and immersive way possible. This is your chance to experience the beauty of the Holy Land and to support the people of Israel.

Artza has had the privilege of previously partnering with the talented Israeli artisan Tamir Yair. With masterful brushwork, Tamir's breathtaking paintings of the Holy Land depict the ancient port city of Jaffa, where Jonah attempted to flee from God, only to be swallowed by a great fish.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon and providing you with the next Holy Land Artza Blog, and of course, welcome to ISRAEL!