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At Tel Aviv Port, Once The Gateway Into The Land Of Israel

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As the only port wholly under Jewish control before and during the War of Independence, Tel Aviv was crucial for supplies and arms to the budding state. Its modern renovation is a resounding achievement.

In 1938, a bridge was built over the Yarkon River to celebrate the opening of the Reading Power Station. The cornerstone read: “This bridge will be important in the expansion of Tel Aviv on both sides of the river. Hopefully, [it] will . . . [help] turn the desolate sands into a blossoming settlement.”

Named Wauchope for the British High Commissioner at the time, the historic bridge has become part of a favorite Tel Aviv outing. It begins at the northern section of Independence Park, across from 220 HaYarkon Street.

For years, the site on which the park now stands was just a hill made of sea limestone rock. During the British Mandate, part of the area was used as a military base that was taken over by the fledgling Israeli army in 1948. Indeed, it was from here that Israeli forces shelled the ill-fated Etzel ship: Altalena.

When Independence Park was finally inaugurated in 1952, it was the biggest park in Tel Aviv. The first trees were planted here on Israel’s very first Independence Day in 1949, along with foliage that could survive in sand and salty soil. Sea fennel, scalloped-leaved sea lavender, evening primrose, tamarisk, oleander and sea daffodil were planted on the highest or upper portion of the park. On lower levels there were taller trees like olive and sycamore fig.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel

 

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