About the Church that Became the Symbol of JaffaSt. Peter's Church can be seen from any point on the beaches of Tel Aviv. It is a Franciscan Catholic Church named after St. Peter, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the first pope.
Catholic tradition identifies the place of the church with the house of Simon the Tanner, where Saint Peter had a dream, which gave rise to the Christian missionary, which has since then turned outward, to the non-Jews of those times.
The church stands on the site where Christian buildings, Crusader fortresses, churches, a hotel for Pilgrims and more have been built for almost 1,500 years. Unfortunately all these were destroyed by the Muslims. The current Baroque structure was built at the end of the 19th century under the auspices of the Spanish royal family. From the beginning of the 20th century the church served as the main Catholic Church of Jaffa until 1932, when it was replaced by St. Anthony's Church on Yefet Street.
Today, they participate in masses held by the Church in five languages, mainly migrant workers, diplomatic personnel residing in Israel and Christians from the Arab population in Jaffa.
The church and its bell tower appeared in the former symbol of the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
About the Architecture of the Church of St. PeterThe eastern façade of the building is distinctly divided into a church (to the left and south) and to the monastery (right and north), with the gates of the two separate wings resting side by side.
The façade is light brown, with two light beams crossing it. Among the cornices is a frieze with metaphors bearing the Vatican emblem. The façade is also decorated with vertical reliefs resembling columns with doves symbols, also in a light brown shade. Above the front door is a plaque bearing the symbol of the Custody of the Holy Land, the symbol of the Franciscan order (the naked arm of Jesus and the arm of Francis of Assisi), a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit and the crown of the kingdom symbolizing the Father God. On the second floor is a large rectangular window with a pediment above it. At the top of the pediment was a travertine rock that was brought from Banias, where Jesus gave the first born to Peter. The bell tower is located in Kedumim Square, in the southwestern corner of the building, and is topped by a dome. In addition to the bell there are also four clocks in the tower, one on each side.
The structure of a single ship on each side has five chapels. Its walls are covered with marble and are fixed with stained-glass windows manufactured in Munich dedicated to Spanish saints. The ceiling is high and is made in the shape of a barrel vault. The pulpit is decorated with brown wood and is attached to the northern wall between two of the chapels. The stand adopts motifs from the plant world - it rests on a pillar like a trunk beneath it, and above it branches that look like the tops of the tree. The main work of art in the church is located above the altar and describes Peter's dream while in Jaffa. In the church there are several other works of art that depict episodes of Peter's life-the changing status of it, the giving of the keys to the sky, the miracle of the fish, and the washing of the feet before the Last Supper. The church also contains descriptions of the Assumption of Purity, the Holy Family, Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Order, and in the first chapel to the left of the entrance, a copy of the black Madonna icon from Czestochowa is displayed.
About the Monastery in the Church of PetrusThe exterior walls of the monastery are bright and unadorned, and it is divided into two parts. The eastern part is built around a small central courtyard bordering the southern side of the church and on the western side of the dressing room. Along the other two sides there is an arcade leading to meeting rooms and service rooms, and in the center of the courtyard is a statue of Louis IX. The round tower, a remnant of the historic fortress, is located in the northwestern corner of the courtyard and in its basement is a round stone chapel. Narrow steps lead to the upper level where the library of the monastery is located, mainly containing books and periodicals in Polish. The western part of the monastery is higher and houses the monks' quarters, the kitchen, the unused reptorium, a large prayer hall and other rooms. The upper floor of this building has an impressive view of the Mediterranean Sea and Andromeda Rock. The entire building was renovated in the first decade of the 21st century and an elevator was installed there. For four years the monastery housed only four monks - two Poles, an Englishman and a Chilean.