The Artists’ Quarter of Tsfat is an unexpected jewel in the ancient holy city. After walking around the cobbled streets and unique steep stairwells, you feel like you’ve journeyed back in time to the middle ages. Then you come across a street brimming with beautiful art of every style, shops selling hand-crafted ornaments, impressive paintings and plenty of Judaica. The narrow streets date back to the 16th century when the city was restored as a spiritual center, and are filled with private art galleries for every taste. Some of the shops sell jewellery, while others sell glasswork. There are tapestries, watercolours and oil paintings.
Whether or not you intend to purchase the artworks, it is fun to watch the artists at work and peruse the varied galleries. Some of the artists incorporate Kabbalistic symbolism into their artwork to reflect the character of the town. The largest galleries are situated at the entrance to the Artists’ Quarter, and feature among them the Olive Tree Gallery and the Soul Art Gallery. These galleries provide a shipping service, so logistics won’t get in the way of your shopping. One of the most unique workshops is the Canaan Gallery, where artists employ traditional loom-weaving to make tallits (prayer shawls) and scarves in the style of the original Spanish settlers.
At the other end of the Artists’ Quarter is a Tourist Board on the border of the Jewish Quarter, where you can watch a 10-minute presentation on the history of the city, and below are excavations from before the 16th century, giving us insight into what it was like before the renovation. In the same area are a great selection of restaurants where you can get anything from falafel to pizza, and a particularly notable Yemenite restaurant called Lahuhe Original Yemenite restaurant, serving special Yemenite bread served with fried local cheeses.