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Meir Shalom Tower

Constructed in 1965, Shalom Meir Tower was Israel’s first skyscraper and its tallest building for over three decades. Nowadays, its ground floor includes a visitor center devoted to the early history of Tel Aviv.

History of Shalom Meir Tower

In 1909, about sixty Jewish families purchased a sandy plot of land northeast of Jaffa and established a new colony – Tel-Aviv. At its northern end, they established the colony’s school (Gimnasia Herzliya). The school building was known for its unique, eclectic design, but after half a century, it was worn out. Since the property was now very valuable, the municipality agreed to demolish the school and replace it with a new, modern tall building. Completed in 1965, the Shalom Meir Tower was the first skyscraper in Tel Aviv. Moreover, 120 meters high, it was the tallest building in the Middle East. Since then, several more high-rise buildings have been added to the Tel-Aviv skyline. Migdal Shalom, as the locals call it, has lost its fame. Nevertheless, Shalom Meir Tower’s ground floor hosts several exhibitions devoted to Tel Aviv’s early history today.

Touring Shalom Meir Tower Visitor Center

The Shalom Tower’s visitor center is easily accessed and is free of charge. Its ground floor presents several exhibitions –

Nahum Gutman Mosaic Wall – A large-scale mosaic artwork by Tel-Aviv’s renowned artist, Nahum Gutman, presents the history of Tel-Aviv in four panels, from its inception up to the 1970s. The artist follows the city development in a romantic, naïve style, from a colony set in a dune to a modern metropolis.  Another mosaic wall, by David Sharir, was later added on the opposite wall, complementing Gutman’s work with more details of early Tel-Aviv and Jaffa.

Tel-Aviv’s First Streetlamp – Next to the model is Tel-Aviv’s actual first streetlamp, first operated by kerosene and later by electricity. The residents of early Tel Aviv took great pride in having this streetlamp, the first of its kind in Palestine.

early-tel-aviv-modelEarly Tel-Aviv City Model – A model of Tel-Aviv when it was about 10 years old presents its original buildings in detail, including its lost historical school building.

Early Tel-Aviv Photographic Collection – A vast display of black and white photos captures beautiful moments of Tel-Aviv’s daily life in its early years. Bathers posing at the beach, a donkey-driven carriage selling ice blocks, and Purim festivals (Adlyada) are some of the subjects featured in this fascinating exhibition.

The Migdal Shalom Visitor Center is an excellent tour experience for anyone wishing to learn in detail about the establishment of Israel’s first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv.

A tour of Shalom Meir Tower Visitor Center can be combined with a guided day tour of Jaffa and Tel Aviv.

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