St. Peter’s Church, Tel Aviv, District, Israel
The reputed site of the house of Simon the tanner is an inconspicuous 19th-century building at 8 Simon the Tanner Street, down towards the sea from Kedumim Square.
A towering belfry makes St Peter’s Church, just off the square to the north, the most distinctive landmark in Old Jaffa. The original church, twice destroyed and twice reconstructed, was built in 1654. Stained-glass windows by the renowned Munich artist Franz Xaver Zettler depict events in the lives of Peter and other saints. An unusual wooden pulpit is carved in the form of a fruiting tree.
Carved pulpit in St Peter’s Church Outside and to the right of the sacristy are remnants of a citadel used by Louis IX of France when he led the Ninth Crusade in the 13th century. They include two circular rooms in which Napoleon is believed to have lived after he captured Jaffa in 1799.
The church was built in 1654 in dedication to Saint Peter over a medieval citadel that was erected by Frederick I and restored by Louis IX of France at the beginning of the second half of the thirteenth century. However, in the late eighteenth century the church was twice destroyed and consequently twice rebuilt. The current structure was built between 1888 and 1894 and most recently renovated in 1903.
Masses are conducted in English, Spanish, Polish, and Hebrew. A schedule is available at the church and it is open to the public every day.Among contemporary worshippers are Polish foreign workers who come here to pray on Saturdays.
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