Category Archives: jaffa

Napoleon and AKKO

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

In 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte tried to conquer other territories in the Middle East during the period of his Egyptian campaign.

After El-Arish, Jaffa and Mount Tabor he tried to conquer the city of Akko.

He set up his headquarter with 13000 soldiers on the hill outside the walls which is called upto this day the ” Napoleon Hill ”.

The Pasha El-Jezzar called the “Butcher”, a not so friendly man, knew of the intention of this general Napoleon, therefore with the help of of Antoine Picard of Phelippeaux, a French royalist engineer, built a second wall to protect his city.

This man knew Bonaparte from the Royal Military School of Paris where they studied together and dislike him.

Also the English Fleet under the command of Admiral Smith , the eternal enemy of General Bonaparte, came to the rescue of the Pasha, who felt strong enough to face this terrible threat.

Bonaparte was counting on the big guns which were to arrive by sea to succeed in this battle, but the English Fleet intercepted the French one and captured it.

Many French soldiers lost their lives against the heavy attacks of the Ottomans because the simple field guns that Bonaparte had could only make minor damage to the walls.

Despite this, the Napoleonic troops led by General Kleber, repeatedly pierced the walls, to take control of part of the city. However, each time they were pushed back by the defenders of the city.

An army of 35,000 men from Damascus came to the Pasha rescue and setback the French troops by surpise.

After two months of siege, Bonaparte renounced taking the city. The plague raged in his troops, some sick soldiers could no longer follow and were executed on the spot. Bonaparte went back to Egypt, where his departure had only weakened his troops left behind.

It is said that the Pasha El-Jezzar wanted to eliminate Christians living in the city as revenge, but  Admiral Smith threatened him to bomb Akko if this should happen and prevented the massacre …

 

The coronation of napoleon

The coronation of napoleon

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Sarona – Tel-aviv’s German colony –

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-aviv – Sarona

”The Templers” were Protestant religious people who came to the Holy Land in the nineteen century with their mentor Christoph Hoffman calling for the return to the origins of Christianity and the establishment of urban and agricultural settlements in Palestine.

Their involvement with the Nazism government during Hitler’s time made them the ennemy of the British in power in Palestine and after World War II, the entire Templar community with their seven settlements in Palestine was deported to Australia, never to return.

They arrived in Palestine more than a decade before the first Zionist Jewish immigrants came and in many ways, they served as models.

Despite their small number in the country, the Templars nonetheless contribute to
modern techniques of agricultural development in Palestine and they quickly gained a reputation for their skill and precision in the execution of various works.

They planted vineyards and orchards using modern technology unknown in Palestine, they created the first oil mills for grain that operated with steam engine. They have tapped into the soil to find this water so rare and necessary for the survival of everyone. They opened the first European-style hotels and pharmacies, and embarked on the production of important commodities like soap and cement – or beer and wine. They were the first in the market of “Jaffa Oranges”.

Their beautiful houses,  of continental elegance, with their red tile roofs were surrounded by flourishing gardens. These neighborhoods have become today, after their renovations, trendy and luxurious places either in Jerusalem, Haifa, Bethlehem of Galilee, Jaffa and Tel Aviv Sarona.

The Sarona district includes 37  Templar houses that were renovated (out of 85 at the time of the Templars) 5 of them have even been raised and displaced to expand the Kaplan street and to allow better circulation. The project, which lasted for years, finally ended and we can see now numerous high luxury buildings that are being built on the site of the houses that were destroyed together with shops and “haute cuisine” restaurants even installed in underground vaulted cellar of the agricultural cooperative used by the German Templars.

This unique neighborhood, thanks to the renovation, allow us to keep an eye on the past and I was told  that the young german generation belonging to this community come sometime to visit the Holy Land and their ancestors patrimony. They are delighted to know that their heritage has been preserved and they are proud of it and so are we !….

 

Tel-Aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona