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  • Talma Gotteiner

Tel-Aviv: The Independence Trail

Updated: May 6, 2020

Hi there,

The Independence trail is a fairly new marked pathway that was inaugurated not long before the 70th Independence Day. It takes you through ten historic sites in Tel-Aviv that tell the story of the foundation of the first Hebrew city and at the same time the story of the establishment of the state.

To start, you can obtain a map and site guide at the stand erected on 10 Rothschild Avenue and then follow the golden line embedded in the pavement. The trail is circular and about 1 km long. I tried not to repeat all the information in the brochure so there are additional facts in my post and in the brochure that do not overlap.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Starting Point

Trip Agenda Options

1. The First Kiosk

2. Nahum Gutman Fountain and The Democracy Pavilion

3. Akiva Arieh Weiss House

4. Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium and Palatin Hotel

5. The Great Synagogue and Lederberg House

6. The Haganah Museum and Benin House

7. Bank of Israel

8. Tel-Aviv Founders Monument

9. Statue of Meir Dizengoff

10. Independence Hall

1. The First Kiosk

Tel-Aviv was founded in 1909 as a modern city. The first kiosk was opened in 1910 and serves refreshments till this day. The first streetlamp that stood next to it has been moved to the exhibit in the Shalom Meir Tower.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail, The First Kiosk

2. Nahum Gutman Fountain and The Democracy Pavilion

I wrote about the mosaic made by Nahum Gutman in my previous post.

The Democracy Pavilion

A new nearby site that is located next to the Nahum Gutman Fountain is an audio-visual display erected by the Israel Democracy Institute. The Pavilion, built as a dome portrays a 10-minute film exhibiting historic events related to the evolution of Israel as a democratic state and highlighting the values that were the basis for the Declaration of Independence.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Democracy Pavilion

3. Akiva Arieh Weiss House

Akiva Arieh was an active Zionist who was both a jeweler, the family business and an architect. He first visited Israel in 1904. On his way to Israel, he heard about the death of Theodore Herzl and during his tour of the land, he realized that one of the ways to deal with the level of unemployment was to build industrial cities. In 1906 he emigrated from Lodz with his family and one of his first actions was to propose to other residents in Jaffa to purchase land together and establish the city of Tel-Aviv. He served as the first head of the neighborhood committee presiding over the lottery that allocated the lots of land to the first 66 families. I actually read after the fact that there is an exhibit in the lobby of the building, but I didn't think to enter it. However, there is an additional exhibit about him in the Shalom Meir Tower, which I think is permanent.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Akiva Aryeh Weiss House

4. Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium

The original gymnasium which served as the first Hebrew-speaking high school in Israel no longer stands there today. After the number of students grew, it was transferred in 1958 to its current location on Jabotinsky St. where it continues to serve the residents of Tel-Aviv. In place of the original school building stands what is known as the Shalom Meir Tower and was the first skyscraper in Israel. The lobby and first floor are home to a historic exhibit related to the foundation of Tel-Aviv including the first streetlamp, models of buildings, additional mosaics of Nahum Gutman, photographs and more.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Shalom Meir Tower

Nearby you will also see the Palatin Hotel that served statesmen and other distinguished guests during the 1920s and 30s including Lord Allenby, Dr. Chaim Weizmann and Tomas Masryk.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Palatin Hotel

5. The Great Synagogue and Lederberg House

I wrote about The Great Synagogue in my previous post. The Lederberg House is an Art Nouveau house for preservation, built in an eclectic style by architect Joseph Berlin and Yehuda Magidovitch in 1922. It has both eastern and European elements with rolled railings, Corinthian columns and painted ceramic tiles made in Israel by Bezalel on its facades depicting Israeli landscapes.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Lederberg House

6. The Haganah Museum and Benin House

I wrote about the Haganah Museum in my previous post. The Benin House is an example of the Bauhaus or International Style of architechture that Tel-Aviv is famous for. It was built as an office and commercial building in 1937-1938 by architect Zaki Chelouche for the Benin family, one of the most affluent families in Aden, Yemen. The owner Maurice Benine was a businessman with British citizenship enabling him to purchase land in 1921.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Benin House

7. Bank of Israel

The building, built in the 1930s is now home to a visitor's center related to the evolvement of the economy in Israel. The center is open free of charge and includes an exhibit and film.

8. Tel-Aviv Founders Monument

The monument designed by Nahum Gutman was erected in1949 in honor of the city's 40th anniversary on the site of the city's first water tower.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Founders Monument

9. Statue of Meir Dizengoff

The first mayor of Tel-Aviv, Meir Dizengoff who served in office for 25 years was a well-known figure riding through the streets of Tel-Aviv. The statue is in real-life size and was placed in front of his home which he donated after his wife's death to the city to serve as the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art and which later served as the Independence Hall.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Meir Dizengoff Statue

10. Independence Hall

This is where Ben-Gurion read out the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948 on the last day of the British Mandate. It was read in Tel-Aviv because Jerusalem was under seige during the Independence War. The hall served the Provisional State Council during its first few months of office while the war continued. The hall is open Sun-Thursday from 9:00-17:00 and Friday 9:00-14:00 and includes a short film in addition to the exhibit.

Tel-Aviv Independence Trail Independence Hall


I combined this trip with a visit to the ARTE ice-cream parlor, which I wrote about earlier this week. See my previous post.


‘65 Hotel Rothschild – An Atlas Boutique Hotel’, ‘The Rothschild 71’, ‘Hotel Rothschild 22’ and ‘The Rothschild Hotel – Tel-Aviv’s Finest’.

My Timeline

I spent nearly a day in Tel-Aviv, but I did more than the independence trail. The trail itself can take about half a day if you spend time entering the buildings where applicable.

Independence Trail Map

I hope my post increases awareness to the existence of the trail. It is easy to follow and something you should plan for your next visit.



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