Sabil Abu Nabbut, an Ottoman drinking fountain for wayfarers, is located on Ben Zvi Road, originally the Jerusalem Road—the historic road from Jaffa to Ramla, Lod, and Jerusalem, in today’s Abu Kabir neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. Built in 1815 by Abu Nabbut, the Ottoman governor of Jaffa, it is a rectangular stone structure divided into three halls (iwans). It has three main domes and four domed corner buttresses, all plastered. The principal façade faces west, so that travelers going east toward Jerusalem could take pleasure in its glorious design, drink and wash, stock up on water for the journey, and rest in its shaded, decorated spaces along the north and south walls. On the western façade is a marble decorated arch with an Arabic inscription commemorating Sultan Mahmud II and wishing health to the drinkers.
Due to its location and unique architecture, the impressive structure was a popular attraction in the 19th century. It enjoyed considerable exposure and influenced its surroundings and the urban space as a whole. Being a rare, singular Ottoman monument and a part of an architectural-historical-cultural landscape, its significance remains to this day.
Over the years, Sabil Abu Nabbut gradually stopped serving its original function and eventually ceased to be used altogether. Its domes were damaged and its openings sealed to prevent vandalism, but its physical condition deteriorated nevertheless.
Engineering stabilization and renovation of the building, restoration of the original windows and the dome frescos in the rooms, returning the building to its original function as a water source and a stopping point for passersby.
As part of the renovation, the floor on the façade was exposed, including three magnificent Carrara marble columns and stone flooring.
Phase II of the project will begin soon and will include exposure of the finds to the public.