Tel Aviv is 100 years old

A rich menu of festivities awaits you in Tel Aviv to celebrate the centenary of the “White City”. Festivals, concerts, events of all kinds will bring life to Israel's most dynamic city, the true living heart of the country. It is therefore the moment to discover a vibrant metropolis, full of sun, culture and celebration, open to the world in spite of Middle Eastern tensions. Tel Aviv, a centenary still young!

The eternal youth of a centenary

Tel Aviv is 100 years old. Already, one would be tempted to say, this hyperactive city, full of sunshine and vibrant with energy seems doomed to eternal youth. It was in fact on April 11, 1909 that the world's first modern Jewish city was founded. That day, 66 families from Jaffa gathered to divide themselves up, by drawing lots with the help of shells, for plots of land by the sea. Their objective? Create a new city ex nihilo, on sand dunes. The reunion, immortalized in a photo, was the birth certificate of Tel Aviv, “hill of spring” in Hebrew, symbol of life and hope.

The first modern Jewish city will become the center of Jewish colonization. It was here that on May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the creation of the State of Israel. In a sense, Tel Aviv, the city of the future, contrasts with Jerusalem, the city of Jewish spiritual origins. From the thirties, Tel Aviv developed by integrating the contribution of the colonists and exiles of Nazism. The most striking example remains the Bauhaus architecture from Germany. The “white city”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains the largest concentration in the world of Bauhaus-style buildings, recognizable by the sobriety of their lines and the asymmetry of their geographical forms.

The Bauhaus sets the tone: Tel Aviv is, and will be, a modern and enterprising city. Even today, it is the economic and cultural center of Israel, with more than twenty museums including the Eretz Israel Museum and the Diaspora Museum (Tfoutsot). Tel Aviv also has an intense cultural life with theater, dance, contemporary art and cinema. A little New York from the Middle East, whose cosmopolitan atmosphere evokes other big Western cities, a pinch of Mediterranean hedonism and more.

Located by the sea, with a sandy Miami-style beach (golden skins and bikinis included), Tel Aviv is full of bars, restaurants, clubs. We party intensely, its nights are hectic as if to forget the tensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is said to be tolerant, open, sensual and bubbling. In perpetual becoming. A film released last year in theaters gives him a fair mirror: The Bubble by Eytan Fox, a beautiful portrait of local youth.

Tel Aviv 100 years program

Want to visit this energetic centenary? The city authorities have planned a whole series of events to celebrate the 100 years of this metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. The kick-off will be given on April 4 on Rabin Square where dozens of Israeli and foreign singers and actors will perform in a show accompanied by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta. The performance will be followed by a sound and light show in the square.

Subsequently, many festivals will punctuate the year. Here is a little taste:

- May 2009 - The White City : downtown Tel Aviv will be brought to life by a gigantic street theatrical event. Street theater performances will take place on Rothschild Boulevard, as well as multimedia installations, some of which are projected on the walls of the district's Bauhaus-style buildings. Also on the program, “La grande scene”, an international dance festival.
- June 2009 - The blue festival : it is the month of the Mediterranean identity of Tel Aviv, with nautical events and a tribute to Jaffa, the ancestor of Tel Aviv, with the inauguration of a park and numerous parties on the port ( the 18).
- Summer 2009 : many artistic activities will be organized outdoors to celebrate the Israeli summer, including a concert of Verdi's Requiem by the Scala Orchestra in Milan. Note, in Paris, in a less classic genre, a special Tel-Aviv Beach evening at Paris-Plage which promises to be very hot!
- August 2009 - Tel-Aviv celebrates teens with a three-day Woodstock-style music festival.
- September 2009 - Carpet of flowers in Tel Aviv. Rabin Square will be transformed from September 15 to 17, on the eve of the month of Jewish holidays, into a huge carpet of flowers with the message for the moment secret. For its part, the Eretz museum will host the exhibition “White city, dark days” on the tormented history of the city.
- October 2009 - The Green Month with an ecological and family festival in Yarkon park, the opening of a “green route” and a great bike ride through the city.

The centenary will end on 17 December next with the opening of the new Tel Aviv History Museum in the old municipal building on Bialik Square. Happy birthday Tel Aviv!

Consult our Israel file

Read our book review Tel Aviv, relentlessly.

Tel Aviv Centenary Site

Israel Tourist Board

Tel Aviv sights

Go to Tel-Aviv

- Direct flights from Paris-CDG with Air France and El Al. From Orly, with Corsairfly (seasonal). From Marseille, with El Al. Prices from 380 €.
- Connecting flights with most European companies (Lufthansa, KLM, Swiss, Alitalia, etc.)

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