ISRAEL – Jaffa, in Hebrew Yafo, or in Arabic Yaffa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges.
The town was mentioned in Egyptian sources and the Amarna letters as Yapu. Mythology says that it is named for Yafet, one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood. The Hellenist tradition links the name to Iopeia, or Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda. An outcropping of rocks near the harbor is reputed to have been the place where Andromeda was rescued by Perseus. Pliny the Elder associated the name with Iopa, daughter of Aeolus, god of the wind. The medieval Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi referred to it as Yaffa.
Ancient Jaffa was built on a 40 metres (130 ft) high ridge, with a broad view of the coastline, giving it a strategic importance in military history. The tell of Jaffa, created through the accumulation of debris and landfill over the centuries, made the hill even higher.
Jaffa is served by the Dan Bus Company, which operates buses to various neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and Bat Yam.
The Red Line of the planned Tel Aviv Light Rail will cross Jaffa north to south along Jerusalem Boulevard.
Jaffa Railway Station was the first railway station in the Middle East. It served as the terminus for the Jaffa–Jerusalem railway. The station opened in 1891 and closed in 1948. In 2005–09, the station was restored and converted into an entertainment and leisure venue marketed as “HaTachana”, Hebrew for “the station”.