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Expansion of Jaffa in the  19th Century  began with the construction of new neighborhoods outside the the old city. Jewish, Christian and Arab residents sought to improve living conditions. This was a natural urbanization process which characterized many old cities, and Jaffa was not unique in this sense.

Expansion of Jaffa in the 19th century: the Construction of New Neighborhoods Outside the Walls

Ajami and Manshiya

The Ajami neighborhood, to the south of Jaffa, was established by a group of Christian Arabs. Another neighborhood, Manshiya was established along the coast north of Jaffa by a group of Muslims, descendants of Egyptian peasants who immigrated to Israel during the Egyptian occupation of 1831-1840. Though it boasted some impressive buildings, Manshiya was made up mainly of low clay huts. With time, it developed into a large and predominately Muslim neighborhood, although there were some Jewish residents there too.  With time, other  neighborhoods were added around Old Jaffa until the Old City became a small part of Greater Jaffa. Some of the new neighborhoods resembled the Old City, and featured narrow, dirty alleys, but there were also large buildings and villas, surrounded by gardens, groves and orchards.

The American Colony and the German Colonies

Notably, Christian neighborhoods also sprung up on the outskirts of the city; one of these was the American Colony established in 1866 by Christians from Maine, USA, whose arrival in the  Holy Land was motivated by faith. Two years later, for the most part impoverished, they were forced to abandon the Colony and leave the country; before they did, they sold their lands to a group of Templars from Wittenberg, Germany, who had also come to settle the land for religious reasons. Soon after, the Christian newcomers from Germany established Valhalla an urban neighborhood near the German (formerly American) Colony. Their immense success inspired these German immigrants to establish more neighborhoods around Jaffa (such as Sarona) and elsewhere in the country. Their success also encouraged the Jews to try their luck in establishing neighborhoods outside the city.

The expansion of Jaffa has officially begun.

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