TOUR SARONA COMPLEX IN TEL AVIV: THE COMPLETE GUIDE
The Sharona complex in Tel Aviv, located in the residence of the agricultural Templar colony, has today become a recreation and leisure complex consisting of fashion houses, bars, and restaurants, but the truth is, this place cries out for history. In the place where the prestigious entertainment complex now stands, an intriguing life once took place, which left a lot of stories behind. I invite you to explore the amazing pearl with a private licensed tour guide in Israel and enjoy a unique piece of history in the heart of Tel Aviv.
WHO ARE THE TEMPLARS AND WHY SARONA?
In 1869, 454 members of the Templar-German sect, led by the spiritual father - Christoph Hoffman, came to Haifa to settle in Israel. They wanted to "bloom the wilderness" in a swamp-covered land. To achieve this goal, Christoph Hoffman selected excellent professionals from the cult: farmers and cowherds, blacksmiths and carpenters, architects, and industrialists, Basically every professional who could contribute to the upcoming project.
Who were the Templars? A group of Protestant Christians from the city of Württemberg in the province of Bavaria, in southern Germany. The uniqueness of the sect is the belief in the "Temple of Man." According to this belief God is in the heart of every person, and therefore the Temple (= TEMPLE) is in his heart. The community is a stronghold of faith and support, and it replaces the church, the pastor, and the prayer.
They also shared the millennialist belief that arose in the 19th century that Jesus would return to the Holy Land 2,000 years after his crucifixion (which occurred on Passover, 33 CE). And in faith, Jesus will return only if the Land of Israel flourishes and prosperous. Thus, the Templar sect "lifted the gauntlet" and set out to flourish the wilderness in this land of power, as it was in the middle of the 19th century (and before the Zionist aliyahs starting from 1882).
THE TEMPLAR SETTLEMENT IN THE HOLY LAND
In the 1970s, the Templars established the first 4 colonies - Jerusalem. Haifa, Jaffa, and Sarona was an agricultural colony. In the years 1905-6, the second and third generations established 3 more colonies - two in the hills of the Lower Lower Galilee: Bethlehem in the Galilee Waldheim (Aloni Abba), and one in the Lod plain is Hamidia-Wilhelmma (Bnei Atarot).
Innovations and modernity: In retrospect, the Templars were the "step" that Ottoman Israel skipped - from the backward times of the Middle Ages to modern times. Designed to sustain the farmer and his household), the beekeeping industry, the barn, and industrial dairy, the transportation industry (modern carriages), and the wholesale trade, hospitality, and hotel industries.
The Templar farmers planted vineyards, even before planting vineyards in the first aliyah colonies under the auspices of Baron Rothschild (in Carmel, Sharona, and Wilhelma). In Sharona, at least two innovations were renewed: the first eucalyptus trees were brought by the Templars and planted for the first time in Sharona (for drying the marshes of the Musrara River, the Ayalon), and running water in pipes for houses, farms in yards and irrigating the fields!
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SARONA AGRICULTURAL COLONY - 1871
Sarona was the largest and most prosperous agricultural colony of the Templar community in the country. 20 families purchased 500 dunams in the center of which is a desolate kurkar hill, on which they built their agricultural colony, in the Jaffa area and on the border of the region known as "Sharon". The colony operated a cloth house, a distillery, a cafe, a kindergarten, and more.
THE STORIES BEHIND THE HOUSES OF SARONA
In December 1949 the government of Israel decided to move its offices to Jerusalem and in the Kirya remained representations and offices of most government ministries, including the Prime Minister's Office. In the 2000s, government ministries evacuated Sharona's historic homes in the southern part of the campus. In 2006, a plan was approved that included the preservation of the 33 houses in the complex and their return to their appearance during the Templar colony.
Each of the 33 restored buildings has a "home story," now detailed on a sign in front of the house. The story begins with the origins of the Templar family who built the house, its occupations, new tenants, and which government or military office settled in the building after the establishment of the state. continue reading to find out the history of these amazing houses which we will explore on our guided tour of Sarona.
HOUSE OF THE COMMUNITY 34 KAPLAN STREET
Designed for community gatherings, Bible reading, colony conferences, and parties. The building, like all houses until the 1920s, was built in the Württemberg architectural tradition, a style brought by the Templars from their hometown: two floors, an attic, and a basement, A tiled roof, and a fireplace with a chimney. In 1871, the People's House was inaugurated, in the presence of sheiks from the surrounding villages who were invited to the ceremony, during which a stone tablet was discovered above the building's door, with a verse from Psalms, in German and Arabic.
Name of the colony: In the same ceremony the name of the colony was announced: Sharona (Sarona), from the verse from Isaiah's prophecy of consolation: "And the Sharon was to Neve Tzan ..." So why Sarona? The Templars read a Bible translated from Hebrew into German, where the translator erred in transliteration and wrote "Sharon" as "Saron". This is what they knew.
It is recommended to peek through the front door on the private Sarona tour to the inside of the hall, where there are two granite marble columns, and titles with verses from the Bible in German and Arabic. The elegant columns will be imported from Egypt, an investment that testifies to the importance of the structure.
Who was the clock used on the House of the People? Farmer Sharona did not need a watch, but anyone who went to the "Nablus Road" (now: Petah Tikva / Begin Road) on his way to Jaffa, or who returned from Jaffa, must have needed a watch.
At the end of the renovation of the compound, Ms. Ruth Dayan was honored with a tour of the place where her husband, Moshe Dayan, was Minister of Defense. As she stood in front of the People's House she pointed to the attic and said to her attendant, "In Khurchik, do you know there were 3 bells up here?" Yes, he knew. From the many photos in the Templar archives. The "guy" asked Ruth, "Maybe you know where the bells are?" And she knew where they were. Guess what? As you can see, to this day the bells have not been put back in place, for unknown bureaucratic reasons. At least you know where they are.
THE NEW COMMUNITY HOUSE 38 KAPLAN STREET
At the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Sharona turned the People's House into a school and built a new people's home for themselves. His architectural style is no longer Württemberg. It is one story, wide, functional, and built of the bricks of the building, which were manufactured in the "Wieland" (Templar) factory that operated at the Jaffa railway station.
The Nazi flag has been hovering over this building since the mid-1930s. Indeed, it was not long since the Germans settled in the Land of Israel and they gave up the religious-Messianic vision that brought them here and saw themselves as nationals of the German state; Many of the young men volunteered for the German army during the First World War; Many other conscription orders were sent before World War II, and they set out to serve the homeland. As such, they were loyal to the flag of the German state and all the terrible aspirations of Nazi ideology. A branch of the Nazi party was opened in every German colony in the country, as well as a branch of the Hitler-Yungad youth movement. Sharona also had a branch of the Hitlerite youth movement and was in fact the most active of them all.
If you were wondering first why "delete the name Sharona"? The message is that the memory of the Nazi Germans should be erased forever and ever. The order was issued 3 years after the end of the Holocaust, which is understandable.
WILLIE GROTZINGER HOUSE 30 ELIEZER KAPLAN STREET
Members of the Groetz family settled in Sharona at the end of the 19th century. Willie opened a slaughterhouse and butchery for the residents of Wilhelma and Sharona in a building behind the family home. Above the entrance gate was a sign announcing that Grotzinger was producing "sausages and meat delicacies" instead. The family members were exiled to Australia in 1941. The family home is one of the five homes moved in 2006.
EMANUEL STELLER HOUSE 6 ALBERT MANDLER STREET
Emanuel Steller grew up in the colony at the end of the 19th century and was one of the largest orchards in the colony. The building was originally built as a one-story house, but in the early twentieth century, a floor was added. The balcony railings and frames around the windows and doors have been preserved, as well as the murals made using the stencil technique. After the establishment of the state, the government office for war victims operated in this building, and later the Ministry of Agriculture housed it. Steller, his wife, and his son were deported by the British to Australia in World War II. The Emanuel Steller House is the first house in Sharona to undergo a conservation process in 2002.
GOTTLOB HOUSE DAVID ELAZAR 6, CORNER OF KAPLAN
In this house, which is bluish in color, which has a nice wooden balcony (restored), a high and spacious first floor, a wide wooden door, and ... metal shutters - Gru Gottlob, who was the blacksmith of Sharona and his wife Cornelia, who was the teacher of the colony. They were among the first 20 families to purchase the kurkar hill lands, and participated in the lottery of the plots of land between them. Gottlob allocated the first floor in favor of a workshop for repairing tools, squares, and replacing horseshoes. In the adjoining pavilion, he processed the metal in a large oven. He 'announced' his occupation both by the metal shutters and by a horse's vane on the tiled roof.
We will turn right behind the blacksmith Gottlob's house, look at the beautiful Nofarim pool, and sit on the benches next to a strange wooden installation to take a short breath on this private guided tour of Sarona.
THE OIL PRESS HOUSE 22 DAVID ELAZAR STREET
This is one of the three industrial buildings in Sharona (the oil press and the two wineries that we will meet shortly), built of kurkar bricks (like all the houses in Sharona; this is the local stone and abundant here) and their walls are not plastered.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Templars brought from Germany a mechanical system for oil extraction, the first in the Land of Israel, and for the first time, a diesel engine replaced the traditional "donkey" or mule engine.
Various stories tell that the Templars sought to produce oil from the seeds of the hippopotamus or radish seeds. It is not clear. What is clear is that this was an elaborate and efficient system that stopped oil from the most common crop in the country - olives. One diesel engine operated the 3 olive oil production facilities by a complex system of relay belts.
If the production hall door (next to the "Claro" restaurant) is open, and after receiving permission from the restaurant's shift manager, you can peek and be impressed by the elaborate system, from the "arduous" - two round stones that crushed the olives, to the juicer and centrifuge that separated the oil from the mohel. From the olives). The system has been restored and maintained.
Another option is to watch a movie projected on the spot. For a fee and through the visitor center of Sarona mentioned above.
TAHAL (FOREIGN STATIONS) 19 DAVID ELAZAR STREET
This is what the antenna that served the Mossad's offices was called. It now stands south of a beautiful white building built in the 1940s by the British Army as the vehicle base of the military base. Today the antenna is not working but is definitely something worth seeing to understand what is the Israeli Mossad is all about on this Sarona private tour.
THE OLD WINERY 30 DAVID ELAZAR STREET
Israeli history books tell us that it was Rothschild's gardeners who initiated the planting of the first commercial vineyards in the Land of Israel (the first in about 800 years). And here the mistake needs to be corrected. The first to plant vineyards for wine production was the Templars; Initially in Haifa and Sarona, and later in Wilhelma. The Templars brought with them cuttings of vines from Europe and only after adjustments and trains with local varieties were they able to produce commercial and quality quantities of wine grapes.
The winery in Sharona began operating in 1893, and the wine created by the Templars here was, of course, intended to be marketed in Europe (since Muslims are not allowed to drink wine, and Jews have their own wine).
Farmers Wilhelma - the colony established in 1905 - also planted vineyards. They established a cooperative with Sharona winemakers and brought their produce to wine production in Sharona's winery. The winery was small enough to hold the many barrels of wine produced, and the Sharona farmer set up a new winery, and the old winery was designated to be a bottle, i.e .: the place where the wine is transferred to bottles.
THE NEW WINERY 27 DAVID ELAZAR STREET
It is a large and impressive industrial structure; This was the new winery that began operating in 1910. On the floor in front of us, the grape clusters grown by farmers Sharona and Wilhelma were squeezed in their vineyards, and down in 2 huge cellars, the barrels were housed until the vine-ripened. 5 years later, with the outbreak of World War I, the ports of the Mediterranean were closed and could not be exported to Europe and since Saturday the winery.
If the glass door in front of the building is open, you can go down the stairs and peek at the two newest bars that have opened in the basements (the right one is more accessible), and be impressed by the size and beauty of the basement.
The continuation of the cellars is the same intriguing "tunnel", designed to transport the barrels of wine prepared from the cellars of the new winery to the old winery for further bottling and packaging. And why carry the barrels of sensitive wine in the Israeli sun? The efficient Templars dug a tunnel that connected the two wineries and sent the barrels to the old winery on a cart hitched to a small donkey, The tunnel has been restored and renovated and can be visited. Paid and coordinated with the Sarona visitor center.
SARONA VISITOR CENTER (MUSEUM) 14 AVRAHAM MANDLER STREET
This is Sarona's museum where - in front of pictures and exhibits - you can learn the history of the complex in the 147 years of its existence.
The middle floor was dedicated to the Sharona colony from its inception until its divorce in 1941 and includes a "dark room," literally; The Nazi phase of the colony. The upper floor was dedicated to the "Kirya", and the office of the mythical Major of the Campus, Major Victor, was also moved there. While the basement is an "archeological" museum - finds from the houses of Sharona, which testify to the daily life in the colony, from the washing machine to the clock mechanism that was on the People's House.
Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday: 9: 00-17: 00
Wednesday: September-May - 10: 00-18: 00 | June-August, 10: 00-19: 00
Friday and holiday eves: 9: 00-14: 00
WHY SARONA IS SO IMPORTANT?
German-Templar existence in the Land of Israel played an important role in advancing the country, in bringing modernity, and also in the fact that the Templars formed the basis of Zionist settlement, from its inception. More than that, as an idea, the Templar colonies were a role model for the Zionist settlement.
In 1877, Yoel Moshe Solomon wrote words of praise and admiration in the newspaper "Yehuda and Yerushalayim": "Magnificent plazas and buildings, until the man who walks their streets forgets that his feet have been trodden in the land of the soul (= desolation), and seems to be in one of the cities of Europe that blow.
Well, then Yoel Moshe Solomon, the diligent entrepreneur, set out on a "clear morning in 1818" to establish Petah Tikva.
Finally, after eighty years in which the Templars lived in the Sharon, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the British army took over the compound and turned it into a British military base surrounded by barbed wire fences. Five months before the end of British rule, in December 1947, a Hebrew flag was hoisted over Sharona for the first time.
WHAT TO SEE IN SARONA EXCEPT FOR THE HOUSES?
The renewed colony in Sarona includes an urban park, which preserves the 33 original structures of the Templar colony accurately. As mentioned, the buildings have been turned into cafes, restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Today, there are about eighty businesses in Sharona, including about 30 fashion houses and fashion accessories, 25 restaurants and entertainment venues, 13 stores from various fields, two art galleries. Sarona is also a perfect place to spend a few hours with your kind since there are numerous playgrounds, take a cup of coffee while your kids can enjoy themselves climbing and jumping. the food market is also a great place to see the local food production, you can find fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and other organic product made in Israel under one roof, and enjoy a fabulous variety of restaurants.
GENERAL INFORMATION OF SARONA
Location: Between Kaplan Street and Arbaa Street, Tel Aviv.
Parking lots: Many parking lots around Sharona - and for a fee: Luba Eliav Tunnel, parking lots on Arbaa Street, Dubnov Street, Leonardo da Vinci.
For more details: Phones: 03-6048494, or 03-6049634, or on the website of the Sharona complex.
Book your private tour of Sarona today , contact me for more information about this magical place in the heart of Tel Aviv.