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Eating and strolling at Sarona

Sarona is a trendy place in the heart of Tel Aviv’s business area that contains Israel’s largest indoor culinary market. It is open seven days a week and sells Israeli and foreign gourmet produce. It has very attractive grounds through which one can stroll that includes a children’s play area. It is also steeped in modern history as it was once a German Templer colony and there is a Visitor Center and museum. Some of the Templer buildings have been restored and function as clothing and other stores. There is a shaded area with picnic benches.

Directions and parkingEnter “Sarona” into Waze and click on “Sarona Market.” There are a number of parking lots in the area. The closest is Parking Sarona. Enter “חניון שרונה“ into Waze.    

Public transport: Enter “Sarona Market” into Moovit. The closest rail station is Hashalom. The closest red line light rail station is Yehudit, which is very close to the market.

Visitor Center and museum: One of the original buildings at 11 Albert Mandler Street, built in 1905, has been designated as the Sarona-HaKirya Visitor Center. It is open Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., Wednesday 10.00 to 6.00 pm (Sept to May), 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. (June to August) and 10.00 to 2.00 p.m. Friday and holiday eves. There is a museum that displays the different aspects of Sarona’s history but it is only open to tours. The tour includes the museum, a building with a diesel-powered Templer olive press and an underground tunnel that was part of the Templer winery. One of the exhibits in the museum shows how a home in the Templer colony was moved to this part of Sarona. A tour needs to be booked in advance. It can be requested in English. There is an admission charge. There is a free tour of the area on Fridays at 11.00 am. This is their telephone number 03 505 9197. This is their website.

Map of Sarona

Map of Sarona on the wall of the Visitor Center.

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Sarona and the Templers


The Templers were a Protestant sect from the Kingdom of Wurttemberg, now part of Germany, who inspired by millinarian beliefs and their belief in the imminent second coming of Jesus attempted to establish utopian communities by espousing a life of Christian virtue combined with productive labor. They set up a number of religious communities in Palestine, primarily around Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem. This settlement was established in 1871 and was one of three settlements established around Jaffa.


Inadequate credit has been given to the Templers for their contribution to the development of Palestine. They came to the country with skills in light industry and agriculture-for-profit which were not yet present in the Jewish community. Sarona, in particular, became a leading colony in terms of modern agriculture and technological innovation. Their success in building communities was also an example to the Jews.


Their initial efforts in the area of Sarona were extremely difficult and many of the Templers died from malaria until the marshy land was drained. Nevertheless, by 1931 their community had grown to 564 inhabitants and 104 houses.


The Templers maintained strong emotional ties to Germany and some fought in the German army during World War I. Their colonies were interned in Egypt during the war, but they were able to return after the war, although their colonies had been vandalized. During the Second World War many Templers, especially the youth, became Nazi sympathizers and Sarona was the center of the Nazi party in Palestine. They were interned again and eventually expelled by the British to Australia and Germany. Their homes were taken over by the British and used for a military camp.


When the British left the country Sarona was handed over to the Jews and it was used by the Hagana as a military camp. This was where the foundations of a regular military force were laid. When the State of Israel was declared in 1948 the buildings were used for government offices in what was known as the Hakirya (the compound). At that time Jerusalem was not yet functioning as the administrative center for the country. When this did happen after the War of Independence, these buildings were taken over by the Israel Defense Forces. Israel did eventually compensate the Templars for their properties, although it was the British and not the Israelis who expelled them from the country.

Shaded picnic area at Sarona

There are shaded picnic areas at Sarona.

Templer olive press at Sarona

This is an original oil press set up by one of the Templers. it was used between 1912 to 1938. A movie is shown and the press goes into action.

food court at Sarona Market

Food court at Sarona Market.

Presidents room.jpeg

The first president of Israel, Chaim Weizmann, was provided with an office in Hakirya.

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