Tourist Tip #76 / The White City

Tel Aviv has the highest concentration of Bauhaus buildings in the world, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Yasmin Kaye
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Yasmin Kaye

Tel Aviv has the highest concentration of International, or Bauhaus style, buildings in the world, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.

During the 1930s, the city saw an influx of German Jewish architects and designers fleeing the rising Nazi regime after the closure of the Bauhaus school. These new arrivals brought with them a functional, simple and stylish architectural language that was adapted to suit the harsh Middle Eastern heat.

Walking around the city, you'll easily be able to spot their legacy, with buildings characterized by flat roofs, small "thermometer"- style windows that keep the interior cool, and long, shaded balconies for residents to relax on.

The buildings were typically painted white to reflect the sun, giving Tel Aviv with its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings its nickname "The White City". Many of these buildings were raised on pillars to improve airflow and to provide communal areas for residents who took to the streets to enjoy the cooler evenings.

After years of neglect, many of these elegant edifices have undergone restoration. There are numerous White City architectural tours on offer from a variety of tour operators, including the Bauhaus Center, which offers weekly tours each Friday at 10:00, priced at NIS 60 (http://www.bauhaus-center.com). The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Tourist Association also offers a variety of tours (www.visit-tlv.com).

In Tel Aviv, the "White City".Credit: David Bachar
In Tel Aviv, the "White City".Credit: Alex Levac

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