German-American Colonization in Haifa.
Fine cadastral map of the German-American Colony in Haifa, sponsored by the Temple Station of Germany and New York State.
As noted on the map, it is a:
Sketch of the German-American Colony and Mission-Station of "The Temple Society," near Haifa, at the foot of Mount Carmel, Palestine.
The Colony numbers 170 souls; has a German and Arabian School where the German, English, French and Arabic languages are taught; also all useful knowledge and practical sciences. At the same time an opportunity is offered to students -- especially to the natives -- to learn the various trades.
A director (G.D. Hardegg) and a board of seven trustees maintain the affairs of the Colony and Mission-Station.
The map identifies with American flags the location of the property of the American Missionaries living at the site. In light blue are the Building Lots and Gardens of the Colony (3/4 acre in size, on average). In red are the lands which are privately owned lands the colony was negotiating to buy.
The Temple Society is a German Protestant sect with roots in the Pietist movement of the Lutheran Church. Members refer to themselves as Templers.
The Templers were expelled from the Lutheran Church in 1858 because of their millennial beliefs.
Christoph Hoffmann and Georg David Hardegg founded the Temple Society at Kirschenhardthof, Germany in 1861. Called "Deutscher Tempel" by its founders, their aim was to promote spiritual cooperation to advance the rebuilding of the Temple in the Holy Land, Palestine, in the belief that this foundation will promote the second coming of Christ.
While the Lutheran state church in Württemberg condemned and fought the Templers as apostates, the Prussian Protestant position was somewhat milder. Their settlement in the Holy Land found a warm support through Wilhelm Hoffmann (1806–1873), who was no apostate from the official church, like his younger brother Christoph.
Wilhelm Hoffmann served as one of the royal Prussian court preachers at the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin and was a co-founder and first president of the Jerusalem Association.
Christoph Hoffmann fell out with his fellow leader Hardegg so that in June 1874 the Temple denomination underwent a schism with Hardegg and about a third of the Templers seceding from the Temple Society.
In 1878 Hardegg and most of the schismatics founded the Temple Association (Tempelverein), but after Hardegg's death in the following year the cohesion of its adherents faded. Then envoys of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia's older Provinces successfully proselytized among the schismatics, gaining most of them. Thus some colonies became places of partisans of two different Christian denominations and their respective congregations (Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Sarona).
While in Germany the Templers were regarded as sectarians, the Evangelical proselytes gained major financial and intellectual support.
Beginning in the 19th century, primarily with the Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ali's invasion of Palestine in 1831, the country began to experience increased exposure to Europe and increased arrival of Europeans, Americans, and others. After the 1860s a number of these foreigners tried to establish colonies in the countryside. This was partly due to the Ottoman reforms that gave foreigners, including Christians, greater protection and made foreign land acquisition easier.
As noted above the German Templers, some of them American citizens, were members of the pietistic religious movement founded in Wurttemberg, Germany. In the middle of the nineteenth century, they arrived in Palestine from Germany and the United States in 1869 and left the deepest imprint on Palestine's landscape of all the Christian groups striving to prepare them for Christ's Second Coming. They started with the establishment of two urban colonies, in Haifa in 1869 and shortly thereafter in Jaffa. In 1871 they set up the rural colony of Sarona, near Jaffa, which today is the center of Tel Aviv and in 1873 they settled in the vicinity of Jerusalem. About 30 years later-in 1902, 1906 and 1907 they established three other rural colonies.
Hoffmann and Hardegg purchased land at the foot of Mount Carmel and established a colony there in 1868. At the time, Haifa had a population of 4,000. The Templers are credited today with promoting the development of the city. The colonists built an attractive main street, 30 meters wide and planted with trees on both sides. The houses, designed by architect Jacob Schumacher, were built of stone, with red-shingled roofs, instead of the flat or domed roofs common in the region.
In the same year, Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, arrived in the Haifa-Akka region as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. Years later, after his release from strict confinement, he visited the Templer Colony on Mount Carmel several times and wrote a letter to Hardegg. He asked his son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, to build, on the alignment of the Templer Colony road (Carmel Avenue) but halfway up the mountain, the shrine to the forerunner of the religion (who was known as "the Bab"). The conjunction of the Templer buildings and the Shrine have become the most significant landmark in the modern city of Haifa.