American Colony

Tel Aviv, Israel


Katia Shepeliavaya

These couple of houses in Jaffa can tell quite a story – first, Americans settled in here (that's where the name comes from) but after two years they fled, fearing disease and challenge. But typical American architecture they brought in remained. One of the houses is now Maine Friendship House Museum. By the way, the one who helped his compatriots to get back was Mark Twain who was travelling across Palestine at that time and wrote a book about it. Then the place was taken by German Templers, so Kaiser Wilhelm II and Theodor Herzl agreed on building several famous churches in Palestine, including the Saint Immanuel Cathedral in Jaffa.Right across the Church Baron von Ustinov built Hôtel du Parc with a beautiful botanical garden, where people pilgrimed to see its wonders. Interesting fact – the grandson of its founder is the Hollywood star actor Peter Ustinov. The only things left from it are two figs and a beautiful tree, while the hotel has been renamed and is now Beit Immanuel. So, don't be deceived with the size of the street – this layered cake of history is worth biting.


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