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Sarona, Tel Aviv – The Guide

Situated right in the middle of Tel Aviv, Sarona is a brand new complex dedicated to shopping. The establishment used to be a German Templar Colony. Today, it is an urban marvel in the city’s central business district. Sarona is is surrounded by apartments and offices complemented by manicured landscapes. The history of the area has been preserved because 33 authentic Templar buildings that are over 140 years old were accurately restored. Today, they are the premises for quaint cafes, boutique stores, galleries as well as exceptional restaurants and bars.

Sarona was opened in the beginning of 2014 and rapidly gained fame as a hotspot in Tel Aviv. It is expected to continue growing at a fast pace in the coming decades. More than 140 years ago, the German Templars who were Christians visited the Holy Land and created a colony called Sarona. It was similar to others in Haifa, Beit Lechem in Galilee and Jerusalem just to mention a few.

Sarona thrived for decades and became a center of commerce and leisure. In the 1930s, a good number of the German Templars got into activities with the Nazi Party. The area encompassing Israel was controlled by the British. Seeing as the German Templars were interacting with the Nazi Party during World War 2, they were exiled to Australia and Germany.

After the exit of the Templars, the British occupied and fortified Sarona colony after which they transformed it into a military base. It was attacked numerous times by underground Jewish resistance groups in the era when Israel was not yet a state. In December 1947, the British transferred jurisdiction over Sarona to the Jewish leaders who christened it Joshua’s Camp or “Machane Yehoshua”.

In May 1948, the State of Israel was established and Sarona contained some of the first ever government offices. At the time, Jerusalem had been declared the capital of the nation but was still under siege until December 1949. The first Prime Minister of Israel was known as David Ben Gurion and he declared that Sarona was to be known as The Compound (“Kirya”). From that time until its renovation decades later, Sarona held the headquarters of the Israel Defence Forces. Up to date, the headquarters are still situated in the Northern part of the Kirya.

Sarona’s Restoration

In the year 2006, the Tel Aviv Municipality approved a restoration project of Sarona. The ambitious project resulted in the renovation of 33 buildings. As a matter of fact, 5 buildings were fully relocated to make ample room for a new main road. Nearly all the buildings were restored fully and the authentic character that they embodied was glorified once again. During renovation, Sarona was planned to become the center of business in the city of Tel Aviv. It was also planned to be the center of commerce in the nation of Israel because it is situated close by the rail and road arteries that run North-South. In 2014, the first phase of the newly renovated complex was opened with plans for further opening in the coming years.

Taking a trip to Sarona

One of the most attractive locations in Tel Aviv is Sarona because of its restored and renovated buildings. Within it, there are amenities such as a visitor area that tells the story of the history of Sarona and documents the restoration process. There are also some stores and boutiques as well as dining and wining establishments. Even better, there are manicured gardens for your relaxation. The Northern part of Sarona still contains government offices and will be restored in the near future. Furthermore, there’ll be a huge culinary market in the Southern side of this iconic complex.

Numerous international luxury brands call Sarona. There are also some local brands in the Israeli fashion scene that have their main stores in Sarona. Other notable establishments in this business complex include art galleries, designer stores, jewelers and beauty shops.

There are incredibly diverse culinary choices in Sarona. Sarona hosts a collection of burger bars, pubs, Italian restaurants and cafes too. Notably, you can rents out picnic baskets that you can dig into while sitting on the manicured grass right in the middle of Sarona. You can access this historically important business complex from any part of Tel Aviv.

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