Which Middle Eastern city is called "The Big Orange"?

And the answer: Tel Aviv.

Photo credit: fair use. 

Tel Aviv is "The Big Orange" thanks to the ancient port of Jaffa and its once plentiful bounty of Jaffa oranges. The near-seedless, thick-skinned, and sweet oranges were once Israel’s main export. This famous fruit’s lineage dates back to the 19th century.

Some 40 miles northwest of Jerusalem lies the city of Tel Aviv. At the time of its founding in 1909, the city was no more than a garden suburb, settled by Jewish families outside of the now-ancient port of Jaffa, or Yafo. However, Tel Aviv grew from a town to a city quickly, spurred by its proximity to the old city of Jaffa and by the agricultural profits of the region. By 1950, Tel Aviv joined with Jaffa to become Tel Aviv-Yafo, as it is now.

Today, Tel Aviv is a thriving metropolis of culture and economy. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, clean-up and renovation efforts helped the city grow and improve rapidly—the most significant of which included a new orientation toward the beach, an area that had decayed for decades. Nowadays, there are 13 official beaches over 8.7 miles, and each year, 8.5 million bathers come out to soak up the sun.

Architectural renovations have also helped attract a new generation of Tel Aviv residents. Beginning in the 1960s, high rises began to pop up with increasing frequency throughout the city, while old, decaying architecture was refurbished and revamped. Tel Aviv’s 4000 Bauhaus Buildings (also known as “The White City”) are repeatedly praised for their beauty, and were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Learn more about the history of Tel Aviv here.

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