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Haifa – A Diamond in the Rough – Part One

It never ceases to amaze me how a city like Haifa, which is built on the sea and has so many "gems" to offer its citizens never really took off. Haifa has it all, it has a beach, the sea, a port, a mountain with beautiful panoramic views, archaeological sites, historical neighborhoods, some beautiful historical buildings, a German Colony and the Bahai Gardens. Despite all this, Haifa is not really on the tourist map or the real estate map. Real estate in cities with a lot less to offer is booming. However, real estate in Haifa is not. Real estate prices are low in Haifa despite all its treasures. Can that all change soon? And if so, perhaps investing in Haifa in not a bad idea.

Some notable historical sites in Haifa.

Just like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Haifa has its own German Colony. It was established in 1868 by the Christian German Templars. Many of the original buildings of the German Colony still stand and have been preserved. The main road of the neighborhood leads up to the gates of the Bahai Gardens. From this gate one can see the beautiful world renowned gardens and temples of the Bahai.

If we are talking about diamonds in the rough then we must mention the neighborhood called "Wadi Salib". This is an Arab neighborhood whose inhabitants fled during the 1948 War of Independence. Shortly afterwards it was inhabited by poor Jewish families. It is located in the lower city near the flea market and its houses are beautiful Arab style houses built during the Ottoman Period. It was the scene of social riots in the past which caused the neighborhood to be evacuated and now many of the buildings are sitting empty.

Recently one can see some signs of life in the neighborhood and the surrounding streets. In the past the municipality had planned to turn it into an artist colony similar to the one in the old city of Jaffa. However this did not materialize. Now an old school building in the neighborhood has been turned into a center for artists' studios, classes and galleries. The hope is that this will bring interest and visitors to the streets of Wadi Salib. In addition to this, there are some new projects under construction and some of the old buildings will be preserved.

Looking at the pictures one can see the beauty of some of the old buildings.

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