Visit an elegant, scenically situated church, famed for its location near an ancient port where key biblical events took place.
The city of Jaffa holds huge significance in Christian history and its St. Peter’s Church reflects its importance. Visit the 19th-century church and follow the story of St. Peter, who is said to have received a vision from God and raised a woman from the dead in the area. The church is particularly picturesque, located on a hilltop in Jaffa and facing pleasant gardens.
The history of the building dates back to the Crusades, when a church was first built here. A subsequent 17th-century structure was built on top of that, before also being destroyed. Visit the site today to see the stunning Spanish Baroque-style church that was built between 1888 and 1894.
Stand at the entrance to the church and look upward. The church is fronted by a symmetrical redbrick façade with off-white columns. Above the door, spot the coat of arms that denotes the church’s Franciscan origins.
Step back to see the tiered campanile towering behind the façade, with the Mediterranean Sea forming a stunning backdrop on the horizon. This scenic spot and the surrounding park area entice you to relax, away from the busy center of Tel Aviv.
Head inside the church to admire the art displayed in the nave. Paintings here depict the events of Peter’s visit to Jaffa. At the front of the church, marvel at a canvas by the Catalan artist Talarn, depicting the saint’s vision of a sheet of “unclean” animals. Other artworks depict the raising of a widow, Tabitha, an event that also took place in Jaffa.
The building itself is artistically impressive. Appreciate the beauty of stained-glass windows created by F.X. Zettler and a pulpit carved in the shape of a tree. Look to the right of the sacristy to see the remains of a citadel that dates back to the 1200s.
St. Peter’s Church is open daily in the mornings and afternoons, with a long break at midday. Walk to the church on an exploration of Old Jaffa. The building is less than a 15-minute walk from Jaffa Port.