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Jaffa – Gate to the Holy Land
Migration and Tolerance

An Exhibition Presenting a Historic Port City

A Place from the Past

With its 5,000 years, Jaffa is a hub of human history—economically, culturally, politically, and religiously. Its port is one of the oldest in the world. If as a landing place for warships or a transfer-point for merchant ships, Jaffa was the gateway to different cultures from all over the world. Here people met on their way to the holy sites or would make a stop on their raids against other peoples.

Egyptians, Crusaders, and Motorboats

People come, stay, leave…

On international hubs, people carrying different cultures always met. Today the Rhine-Main with an international airport proves to be a center, but in the past port cities were the place where people came together and with them their goods, cultures, and religions.

Part of the Ramses Gate

Lively Exchanges between Cultures 

Jaffa's history as a gateway to and from Israel/Palestine is an example of collaboration and confrontation of religions and cultures from ancient times until today. Hasmonean kings, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Arabs, and Turks left their traces. The exhibition follows this track and describes the effects of migration and cultural transfer. It describes the encounters between visitors and locals, the occupiers and the occupied, and pilgrims and traders. Tolerance and intolerance alternate until recent times with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ancient Myths and Biblical Stories 

Directly in front of Jaffa in the sea are the Andromeda Rocks. In Greek mythology it is said that Andromeda was chained there to be sacrificed to a sea monster but the hero Perseus saved her. Jaffa plays an important role in the story of Jonah, the unwilling prophet. Hoping to escape the orders of God, he boarded a ship in Jaffa bound for the west. The ship was caught by a storm and Jonah ended up inside a great fish.

Inscription of Emperor Frederick II

The Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project

Jaffa has been the subject of an interdisciplinary, international research project since 2007, called the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project. It investigates the influences of culture and religion in Jaffa from the distant past through the emergence of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some results are presented in the exhibit. A Hebrew seal, hieroglyphics and Greek inscriptions show the diversity of cultures in Jaffa. An Arabic inscription of Emperor Frederick II illustrates the appreciation of Islamic culture in the midst of the Crusades.

Cover of the catalog

Catalog to the Exhibition

Jaffa–Tor zum Heiligen Land

Migration und Toleranz am Beispiel einer historischen Hafenstadt

Martin Peilstöcker, Jürgen Schefzyk & Aaron A. Burke (eds.) 2013

Price: 24,90 €

192 pages, ca. 272 illustrations
22 x 28 cm / Paperback

The catalog for the exhibition creates a vivid picture of confrontation and cooperation, exchange and integration, throughout the history of the oldest seaport in the world:

  • Spotlight on the Middle East - encounters and discussion
  • Jaffa/Tel Aviv - first city-history from Israelite times until today
  • Pictures of current research and unpublished archaeological finds

Available in the Museum shop or order from: info(at)bibelhaus-frankfurt.de

Jaffa Orange brand from Sarona

Exhibition Program

The exhibition of Jaffa—Gateway to the Holy Land has an extensive accompanying program. Monthly guided tours by experts, a series of lectures with the authors of the catalogue, and a small cinema series complement the special exhibition:

Expert Guides

Once a month, on Wednesdays at 7 pm (doors open at 6 pm), there are tours about changing themes of the Jaffa exhibition.


On six evenings, authors of the exhibition catalogue will present the city Jaffa, its history and discuss the topics of migration and tolerance.

Jaffa in Film

The small series screens movies about Jaffa, which made cinema history:

15.1.2014 “Ajami” by Scandor Copti und Yaron Shani (2009)

12.2. 2014 “Jaffa” by Karen Yedaya (2009)

12.3. 2014 “Jaffa: The Orange’s Clockwork” by Eyal Sivan (2009)

These movies are part of the film series “Zerreißproben” (Ordeals). The movies were shot in Jaffa and reveal personal fortunes in the current Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.

Place: Ökumenisches Zentrum Christuskirche, Beethovenplatz, Frankfurt

Public guided tours for adults and families

Public guided tours give an insight into the Jaffa exhibition and reveal sometimes surprising relationships based on selected topics.

Public Family-Tours

On Sundays and public holidays 3 pm

Public Tours

Sundays and public holidays at 4 pm

First Wednesday of each month at 12 am

School holidays

Wednesday 16.10.2013 and 23.10.2013 at 12 am

Wednesday 16.4.2014 and 23.4.2014 at 12 am

The port of Jaffa
The port of Jaffa

Guided Tours and School Events


  • Of Right and Wrong—“Jaffa and the Lesson of Jonah”
  • The Apostles on the Way in the World—“Peter in Joppa”
  • Strangers—“Living Together”

The tours are suitable for all grade levels.

Group tours

We offer the following options:

  • Combination Tour
    (Special exhibition and permanent exhibit, approx. 100 min)
  • Tour of the special exhibition (approx. 60 min)

Guided tours for groups are possible also outside regular opening hours. We apologize that we cannot guarantee tours for groups without reservations.

Bookings: Tel. +49-(0)69-66426525

E-mail: gruppenfuehrung(at)bibelhaus-frankfurt.de


Tue–Sat: 10 am – 5 pm
Sun & Holidays: 2 pm – 6 pm
Closed on Mondays and during several holidays

Admission fees:

9 Euros
Reduced 7 €
Families 19 € (includes Special exhibit)
For group reduction please contact us.

How to contact us:

Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum
Metzlerstaße 19
60594 Frankfurt a. M.
Tel: +49-(0)69-66426525
Fax: +49-(0)69-66426526
E-mail: info(at)bibelhaus-frankfurt.de


Public Transport:
S-Bahn: Hauptwache
Lines U1-3, 8: Schweizer Platz/Museumsufer
Lines U4/U5 Dom/Römer

Next to the Bibelhaus
(Fee paid with EC-Card)