City Review


General Information

Herzliya covers an area of approximately 22 square kilometers (8.5 square miles). The city is located on the Mediterranean coastline, 15km north of Tel Aviv, on the Haifa-Tel Aviv road.
The population of the city numbers approximately 100,000.
Herzliya was founded in 1924 by seven Zionist families.
The city is named after the founder of the Jewish State, Dr. Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl.

Coat of Arms
Seven stars - symbolizing seven work hours in the day (in accordance with Herzl's vision).
Ship (center) - Symbolizing the city's proximity to the coast.
Industrial wheel (bottom) - symbol of industry and artisanship.
In addition, the city logo includes a star emblem symbolizing the diverse possibilities and areas of activity that the city offers. Its colors symbolize the values of inspiration, vision, realization, and environmental and social responsibility. Everything is possible in Herzliya - if we so choose.

Herzliya is located in the south-western part of the Sharon area. To the south it borders on Ramat HaSharon; to the north - Kfar Shmaryahu and the Hof HaSharon Regional Council; to the east - Raanana; and to the west - the Mediterranean. The city's panorama comprises long strips, each with its own special characteristics and types of soil and flora.
The first strip, the eastern calcareous sandstone ridge, stretches over the eastern part of Herzliya, at a height of about 50m above sea level. The city center and the surrounding neighborhoods are located here.
The second strip consists of agricultural terrain crossed by train tracks. This strip divides the city into its eastern and western parts.
The third strip consists of the central calcareous sandstone ridge. Here we find neighborhoods bordering on the railway tracks to the east and the Haifa-Tel Aviv road to the west.
The fourth strip consists of the area around the Haifa-Tel Aviv road. On the western side of the road lie the neighborhoods of Herzliya Pituah (the city's industrial and hi-tech area).
The fifth strip consists of the ridge of sandstone cliffs overlooking the beach - the city's tourist area and promenade, lined with hotels, and in the south - the Marina.
The distance between Herzliya and Tel Aviv is 15km; Haifa is 80km away; and Jerusalem - 75km.

The Herzliya region was inhabited during different periods, starting from the end of the prehistoric era. Artifacts dated to 7000-5000 B.C.E., including various hunting tools, point to casual encampments of groups of hunters who gathered food in the region of the red sand dunes and along the edges of the Herzliya swamp. There is evidence of small habitations in the area from the biblical era (Canaanite and Israelite periods). During the period of Joshua's conquest of the land the Herzliya region appears to have belonged to the tribe of Menasseh, and stretched all the way to the Yarkon River. To the south of the Marina and overlooking it is the Tel Michal archaeological site featuring the remains of a coastal town with a fishing wharf that served the small merchant ships that sailed between Phoenicia, the Land of Israel, and Egypt. This is evidenced in the remains of fortresses, small temples, and other structure discovered at the site.

The Phoenicians, who lived in the area at the end of the Israelite period, established the port city of Arsuf (located near the Sidna Ali beach of today), named after Resheph, the god of fire and light. They engaged mainly in commerce and the production of purple dye. During the Second Temple Period, Arsuf became Apollonia, and its inhabitants dealt in anchorage and international trade. During Mishnaic and Talmudic times Apollonia was the main port city in the southern Sharon region, surrounded by agricultural villages that grew olives and grapes, as evidenced by the oil and wine presses discovered in excavations throughout the southern Sharon. To facilitate agricultural activity, the swamp was drained by means of a Roman tunnel that was dug through the sandstone ridge (its western opening is visible from the coastal road). Later on, during the Byzantine era, an open trench was dug to drain the swamp water into the sea.

In the 7th century the Muslims seized control of the city, surrounding part of it with a reinforced wall. Apollonia retained its importance throughout the Persian, Hellenist, Roman, Byzantine, Muslim and Crusader periods, up until the mid-13th century, when it was conquered by the Mamluks, and destroyed. In its place there arose a fortified lookout over the coast, with a mosque to the south of it, named after the Arab warrior Abu Al-Hassan Ali, who had fallen in the battle against the Crusaders. The Sidna Ali mosque became a site holy to Muslims. The surrounding territory became the property of wealthy aristocrats living in Jaffa, Lebanon, and Syria. The region as a whole was desolate, and the great swamp flourished once again, full of mosquitoes.
The Apollonia site has been opened to visitors and has became a major historical and archaeological site in the Sharon.

From farming community to city
In 1921, Yehoshua Hankin, a central figure in land purchases in Palestine, bought some 16,000 dunams from the villages of Al-Haram and Ajlil. The American Zion Commonwealth purchased the majority of the territory from him - 14,000 dunams, offering the land for sale to Jews in the US, Europe, and Palestine. Thus, on the 26th of Heshvan, 5685 (Nov. 23, 1924), the first seven inhabitants set up their first hut on the barren land. These seven pioneers and the first hut symbolize faith in the Zionist vision - the vision of Dr. Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl, after whom the city was named. Despite the hardships and the loneliness, this group began developing the settlement; additional families joined, and a few months later a lottery for plots of land was held among the first 100 families, of which 25 belonged to the Bnei Binyamin organization which had commenced tilling the soil.

Between 1926-1935 the farming community of Herzliya underwent significant growth. New neighborhoods sprung up, and in 1926 the first school was founded (eventually to become Weizmann School). In 1931 the community numbered 1,210 inhabitants. Surrounded as they were by Arab villages and Bedouin settlements, the inhabitants of Herzliya were forced to organize self-defense, within the framework of the Haganah organization. The ancient Roman tunnel became a site for training and target practice, and along the coast the residents of Herzliya brought in vessels carrying illegal immigrants. A monument commemorating these activities now stands at the entrance to the city, on the Haifa-Tel Aviv road (HaSira junction). With the outbreak of the War of Independence, in 1948, the population of the city stood at 3,500. Two years later, following the large waves of immigration, Herzliya boasted 12,000 inhabitants. There was another significant burst of expansion in 1953, and by 1960 the city had a population of 26,000.

With the growth in population the rural character of Herzliya changed, and on April 11, 1960 it was officially declared a city.

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