Tel Aviv (Hebrew: תל אביב, Arabic: تل أبيب) is the second largest city in Israel (after Jerusalem), and has the largest metropolitan area. It is on the Mediterranean coast, about 60 km north-west of Jerusalem and some 100 km south of Haifa. The official name is Tel Aviv-Yafo (תל אביב-יפו), and reflects the fact that the city has grown beside (and absorbed) the ancient port city of Yafo (English: Jaffa, Arabic: يافا Yafa), to the south of the new city center, in addition to many other neighboring cities. Tel Aviv is home to most foreign embassies.
The smallish gulf of Jaffa has been the site of a fortified port town for at least 4000 years. During the 19th century the town’s population grew from about 2,500 (1806) to 17,000 (1886). The old city walls could no longer contain the population, and they were destroyed in the 1870s. New, more spacious neighborhoods started to appear. Tel Aviv (meaning literally "Hill of Spring") itself was founded in 1909 by a group of distinguished Jewish residents of Jaffa. They envisaged a European-style garden suburb, with wide streets and boulevards. Leaving Jaffa wasn’t, however, only a question of an upgrade in lifestyle. Moving out of the Arab-dominated town also represented their belief in the Jewish national movement, their belief in Zionism. Before being a city, Tel Aviv was one of the many titles of Herzel's Zionist utopia - The Old New Land book. Setting out with a grand vision, the 60 Tel Aviv founders have started out by building the first mid-eastern urban center with running water, no small wonder in that part of the world in 1909.