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White City

White City

 
 

In 2003, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, proclaimed the historic zone of Tel Aviv, also know as The White City, as a World Cultural Heritage site. By this proclamation, UNESCO recognized the special architectural qualities of the buildings, streets, squares and avenues of this zone. The White City area was built in an innovative style, tailored to the needs of its residents, to their life styles, and to the climatic conditions of the region. This area is the world's largest grouping of buildings designed in the International Style known as Bauhaus.


Beginning in the 1930's until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, about 4,000 buildings were constructed in this area in the International Style. The White City is located between Allenby Street in the south, Begin Road and Ibn Gvirol Street in the east, the Yarkon River in the north, and the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

 
 
The buildings of The White City were designed by Jewish architects, who had studied in the Bauhaus School in Germany (or were influenced by it). Following the rise to power of the Nazi regime these architects fled Europe; many came to Tel Aviv, where they developed a new architectural language, characterized by its asymmetry, functionality and simplicity.

 
At first look, houses in the International Style seem like white cubic buildings with little ornamentation. Yet a close observation of the fine details reveals the characteristics of the style: walls used only as shells and not connected to the skeleton, pillars, flat roofs, white walls, strip windows, facades with air ways, shading ledges, vertical stairways accentuated by glass bricks, machine and boat motifs expressed with round windows and industrial elements, pipe banisters, round corners and, of course, a focus on functionality and simplicity.

 
The best way to experience The White City is by walking down and around Rothschild Boulevard, where many of the buildings have been restored to their original glory.


A free tour of the White City is offered every Saturday at 11:00 am by the Association of Tourism of Tel Aviv. No need to sign up – just come to the corner of Rothschild Blvd. and Herzl street.

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