Tel Aviv: The Orange Routes
In Tel Aviv there are four routes, known as the Orange Routes that will help you get acquainted with the city. A number of the city's smaller museums are located on these routes.
Three of the existing Orange Routes are best walked, as parking spaces in Tel Aviv are hard to come by. All the routes start at 5 Shalom Aleichem Street, between Hayarkon and Ben Yehuda Streets. Along the routes you'll find large orange and green metal markers that make it easy to identify the specific location as well as a sign that outlines the location's history.
The Beginnings of a City - Route # 1 The Gem of the Orange Routes
The First Town Hall, 47 Bialik Street, 03/525-5052 Municipal offices were in this building (until 1965). This building was built in 1925 as a hotel. In front you'll see a mosaic sculpture by Nahum Gutman (see separate article).
Beit Bialik (Bialik House), 22 Bialik Street, 03/525-4530 This was the former home of Haim Nahman Bialik, Israel's national poet. The building combines eastern and western styles and features beautiful tiles made at Bezalel. The two-story building is by and large as it was during Bialik's time and includes original furniture, a 1,000-volume book collection, and dozens of paintings by the most prominent artists of Bialik's time. Exhibits are labeled only in Hebrew, however groups may arrange for an English-speaking guide, by calling in advance.
Beit Rubin (Rubin House), 14 Bialik Street, 03/525-5961 This small museum is located just a few doors down from Beit Bialik. This was the house where the painter Reuven Rubin, lived and worked for 30 years. The museum that houses 45 of his paintings opened to the public in 1983. Featured works include two distinct periods, a naïve phase that characterizes the 1920's and later a freer expression of the world, in the 1960's. The artist's studio has been preserved on the third floor of the museum, as it was during Rubin's lifetime.
Migdal Shalom, (Shalom Tower), 03/517-7304 This is the original site of the first high-school, known as Gymnasia Herzelia . The tower has an observation deck that affords a great view of the city and mosaics by Nahum Gutman and David Sharir.
Independence Hall, 03/517-3942 This was the former home of Meir Dizengoff, the city's first mayor and served as the first site of the Tel Aviv Museum. It was here that Israel's independence was proclaimed. There are no elaborate exhibits here. But anyone who's ever seen the black and white footage declaring the birth of the Jewish state will find it eerie standing in the exhibit hall that recreates the momentous occasion. This particular museum's starkness perhaps best provides an accurate representation of both pre and post-War of Independence days of 1948.
The Haganah Museum, 23 Rothchild Blvd., 03/560-8624 The museum is located in the former home of Eliyahu Golomb, one of the leaders of the Haganah. The museum follows the evolvement of the underground defense force, from its founding until the beginning of the new State of Israel and the establishment of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).
Neve Zedek A neighborhood originally built for Jews that moved from Jaffa at the end of the 19th century. This area has been undergoing much renovation and restoration in recent years (while many of the buidlings are still run-down). The Nahum Gutman museum is located in this area which is becoming increasingly sought after.
Susan Dalal Center, 03/510-5656 A center for drama and arts and home of the Bat Sheva dance company.
The Rest of the Orange Routes
Tel Aviv Center - Route # 2
Habimah National Theater, 03/526-6666, The Mann Auditorium, 03/528-9163, Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center, 03/692-7710, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 03/695-7361, Monument to the Holocaust and the Resistance, Rabin Plaza, Tel Aviv Municipality and Rabin Plaza, 03/521-8438
Jaffa (pronounced Yafo in Hebrew) - Route # 3
Beit Gidi (Etzel Museum), 03/517-7180, The Clock Tower, Ancient Jaffa
Over the Yarkon River - route # 4 (this is a car route)
The Eretz Israel Tel Aviv Museum, 03/641-5244, Beth Hatefutsoth (The Museum of the Jewish Diaspora) 03/646-2020, Yehoshua Gardens - Hayarkon Park, 03/642-2828, The Israel Trade Fair and Convention Center, 03/646-2401.
The Association for Tourism Tel Aviv-Yafo has two offices where tourists can receive brochures about the Orange Routes (brochures are distinctly absent from the locations along the routes themselves). Also available, a wide array of additional information and brochures about the various attractions and activities in Tel Aviv:
Tel Aviv -Yafo City Hall, ground floor. TEL, 03/521-8500 - open Sunday-Thursday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
New Central Bus Station, TEL 03/639-5660 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, opposite bus ramp # 603 on 6th foor.
Sources: Copyright © 2000 Gems in Israel All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.