Nahum Gutman's Mosaic Fountain – Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel - Atlas Obscura

Nahum Gutman's Mosaic Fountain

The history of Tel Aviv told through a work of art.  

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Nahum Gutman was a Moldovan-born Israeli artist and author, who immigrated to Palestine in 1905. He attended the famous Herzliya Gymnasium school, upon which the Shalom Tower now stands.

Completed in 1979, the fountain recounts the early history of Tel Aviv and biblical stories of Jaffa with brightly colored mosaic tiles. The leftmost pillar depicts the biblical story of Jonah being thrown overboard during a storm and being swallowed by a whale. The central pillar depicts the new city of Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, with the Herzliya Gymnasium featuring prominently towards the top of the pillar. The rightmost pillar depicts the ancient port of Jaffa, with workers on the wharf overshadowed by the towering cliffs and its spectacular buildings.

The rear sides of each pillar are inscribed with biblical verses: Jeremiah 31:4, 2 Chronicles 2:16, and Jonah 1:3. Surrounding the fountain are more mosaics showing aspects of life in the city.

Originally installed in Bialik Square, Tel Aviv, outside the Old City Hall and the home of Hayim Nahman Bialik, one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew poetry, it was moved to its current site in 2008.

Know Before You Go

The fountain is part of Tel Aviv's Independence Trail.

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November 14, 2022

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