View of Jaffa, looking north, 1843 by David Roberts.

Jaffa, Joppa, Holy Land, Israel, David Roberts,
Jaffa, ancient Joppa, looking north. Coloured lithograph by Louis Haghe after David Roberts, 1843.

Pl. 62.

Jaffa looking north

by David Roberts.

The appearance of Jaffa from the sea is stately. To eyes wearied with the monotony of the shore, and the hovels which form its villages, its situation is commanding, from its being built on a cone-shaped eminence which dips boldly into the sea, and from the extreme inequality of the ground, which thus shows all its buildings in one view.

Most of the streets are paved in steps; and the houses, some of which are of considerable size, stand in terraces, and thus add to the general effect. But the cypress and other trees, which so often raise their heads in the larger Oriental towns, and whose verdure adds so gracefully to the scene, are here wanting, and Jaffa is simply a succession of roofs rising above each other, bare, brown, and melancholy.

Besides its authentic history, to which reference is made in another portion of these pages, Jaffa figures in a strange mixture of Hebrew and Heathen tradition. Here Noah is said to have built the Ark! —here Andromeda to have been exposed to the Seamonster;— and here Perseus to have bathed the wounds received in his battle with the Centaurs. But a more painful appeal is made to human memory in the Hospital, where the unfortunate French soldiery died, and which is now the Armenian Convent; and in the grave of the Turkish prisoners of El-Arish, which is still pointed out to travellers, at a mile south of the town.

Source: The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia, by David Roberts, George Croly, William Brockedon. London: Lithographed, printed and published by Day & Son, lithographers to the Queen. Cate Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 1855.

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