Do you know Bialik Street in Tel Aviv? I think it’s a veritable pearl and definitely worth visiting. The small street is the perfect starting point for architecture and history lovers, providing insights into the development of the city. The magnificent buildings are from various eras and styles: from nineteen-twenties eclecticism to renovated Bauhaus-style buildings. A particularly splendid example is the white 1931 Bauhaus-style building, house number 6.
Between Allenby and the old City Hall Square
Bialik is bordered to the west by the lively Allenby Street, not far from the Shuk HaCarmel. On this corner is Café Bialik, a Tel Avivian institution, where live bands often play at night. It’s a café for locals, who come here to drink their beer outside on sultry summer nights. In the 1930s, the same building was home to Café Ratzki, favorite haunt for artists and poets. In 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in front of Café Bialik.
Number 10 is one of my favorite buildings and has been tastefully renovated. Number 21, bordering on Bialik Square, is not to be sneezed at either. A stately white Bauhaus-style building with angular balconies and a solid wooden entrance door. On the first floor, you can visit the Bauhaus Museum and admire an original door-handle by Walter Gropius.
House of Bialik, the poet
Named after the Israeli poet Nahman Bialik (1873-1934), the museum sits enthroned at the eastern end of the street. Bialik lived in the room with the wooden oriel window on the first floor of house number 22. The marvelous bourgeois villa is an architectural mixture of European and Oriental style. At any rate, it’s worth visiting the small museum.
Paintings in the Rubin Museum
Right next door is the Rubin Museum. Here you can visit the permanent exhibition on the painter Reuven Rubin regarded as painter-chronicler of Tel Aviv. Rubin bequeathed his family home, along with the collection of his paintings, to the city of Tel Aviv. It was opened as the Rubin Museum in 1983.
Bialik Square is the heart of the street and rounds it off with a plaza and a fountain. An impressive sight is Tel Aviv’s first city hall. The historical building is now a museum dedicated to the history of Tel Aviv. Despite its beauty, the square is not overcrowded with tourists, making it worthwhile to stop by, particularly evenings. If you’re lucky, you can hear the musicians at the adjacent Felicja Blumental Music Center rehearsing.
translation: Catherine Bradshaw