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Friday, July 16, 2010

... because of the White Night



The citizens of Tel Aviv always knew there's something special about their city, but they couldn't always find the right words to express it. Even Natan Alterman, one of the greatest Israeli poets and a Tel Avivian for the most of his life, hardly knew how to put it into words. In his poem "Still there's something in it", he said (in a very free translation) "True, it hasn't got any professors, prophets or history; there's no seriousness, no weight; still, it has some grace that others don't..."...

7 years UNESCO helped us a great deal to define what, after all, is so special about our city. Turns out that there is for sure one truly special element: the Bauhaus architecture style, that is typical to the Tel Aviv center. Bauhaus is an art movement that was very popular in Europe (Germany) in the beginning of 20 century. After the rise of Nazism in Germany, many Bauhaus artists of Jewish descent fled from Germany to Palestine. The newly founded city of Tel Aviv was like a giant empty canvas to try and apply this style they brought from home. And so today over 4,000 Tel Aviv buildings are built in Bauhaus (or International) style, and in 2003 UNESCO declared Tel Aviv a city of World Heritage as "an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century".

And so, every year Tel Aviv celebrates this recognition of its uniqueness during the White Night: "the city that never sleeps" sleeps this night even less; there are tens of concerts and street performances big and small; art galleries are open until very late into the night; central streets are beautifully illuminated and decorated.

We went to celebrate to Rothschild boulevard (the pictures above are of "Levin's house") - Tel Aviv celebrations are always at their best on Rothschild.

10 comments:

Dina said...

Ha! Sometimes (but not often) I wish Jerusalem were not so heavy with "professors, prophets and history."

Enjoy your white nights and white city.
Beautiful lights on the building.

Shabbat shalom Olga!

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great pictures. can't wait to go someday! greetings from Barcelona.

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Anonymous said...

The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department during the first years of its existence. Nonetheless it was founded with the idea of creating a 'total' work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design


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ganawil said...

The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. For instance: the pottery shop was discontinued when the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, even though it had been an important revenue source; when Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, he transformed it into a private school, and would not allow any supporters of Hannes Meyer to attend it.

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sparrow said...

Hi Olga, I have just come across your blog (because of Dina - so thanks Dina for introducing us).

I am happy to find you. To be honest I have been to Tel Aviv twice when I have visited Israel, and didn't like the place at all. But I am willing to be persuaded otherwise, so now I am reading all your posts and enjoying myself immensely. Thank you for helping me to get a different perspective.

With love from a small town in NZ

AtoZ said...

They actually celebrate "White Night" in various cities throughout Europe. I've been in Madrid when they have the celebration in September and I know that Rome celebrates "White Night" as well in the month of September...

phuket holidays said...

I would love to experience this White Night as well. I am sure that the this kind of event will be a great experience. I like the idea of the changing lights.

flights to Manila said...

White night seems very compelling. The idea of putting colorful lights is perfect. They complement with the ambiance and setting of the place. I will definitely try this one.