About the Tel Aviv Port that Became a Lively Entertainment AreaToday, the Tel Aviv Port complex has become one of Tel Aviv's popular entertainment and tourism sites, but at the beginning the area was more modest. Together with the birth of the city of Tel Aviv, the dream was also born for a Hebrew port, one that would not be the port of Jaffa.
Only with the outbreak of the Great Arab Revolts of 1936 and 1939, and the general strike declared by the Arabs, causing the Jaffa port to be shut down for half a year, did the British government approve the unloading of goods at the Tel Aviv beaches.
So the British would not regret their decision, the first wooden jetty was built at the north of the city, near the Yarkon estuary. It was built on a beach that was partly owned by the municipality, near the Levant Fair buildings, which were to be the warehouses of the new unloading port.
Thus was born what began as a creative answer to the bloody events, and became the port of the young Tel Aviv. On May 19, 1936, porters unloaded the first ship, with the crowds celebrating the song "Hatikvah."
In the months that followed, the wooden bridge was swept away and a long iron pier was built in its place, also digging out a pool on the shore for boats. What is interesting is that since the government forbade the Tel Aviv municipality to finance the construction of the port, all the financing for the construction of the port was raised through a private company established for this purpose. In the Jewish community, the new port was seen as a first step toward independence and the city was proud that it was built by the Jewish public without the support of the British or municipal establishment.
Two years after the port was established, another dream was realized, as the port of goods expanded and the passenger terminal opened. During World War II the port was closed and its facilities were seized, for the most part, by the British army, for the war effort.
With the establishment of the State, it became clear how important the port was. The port of Tel Aviv was the only port under Jewish control. Its importance to the war was enormous, in order to bring supplies to the young army and to smuggle weapons necessary for the War of Independence.
But in the 1960's, the Israeli government effectively closed the port, as well as the port of Jaffa, preferring to build the Ashdod port. The place was neglected and became warehouses only. Only in the early 2000's began the process of renovation for the neglected port and turning it into a lively recreation area.
What was the East Fair?The Tel Aviv Port was established on the so-called East Fair, an initiative established in 1934 on the exhibition grounds of north of Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. The fair was announced as part of the celebrations marking the founding of the city of Tel Aviv. Thirty countries participated and more than half a million people visited it during the first month and a half.
Most of the fairgrounds were established in the international style. The prominent Jewish architects of the period planned various pavilions at the time. One of them, Aryeh Elhanani, designed the symbol of the fair - the Flying Camel, which was placed on top of the mast at the entrance to the fair.
At the Fair, which was a great success and became an annual fair in the coming years, manufacturers and consumers from all over the world presented their products. This created introductions between the Eastern countries with the prosperous countries of Europe at the time. As a diplomatic and economic asset, the East Fair transformed the young city of Tel Aviv into a hub for commercial encounters between East and West and promoted local produce in Israel and abroad.
The Easter Fair was prepared to make history, it was the base for the port of Tel Aviv, which will be developed in the years to come and become an active and prosperous port.