Haifa: The Port City and the Carmel Mountain

Haifa is a beautiful port city. It is located in northern Israel on the Mediterranean Sea, and it is the 3rd largest city.

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Haifa is a city of mixed religions and ethnicities. It has Jews, Arabs of both Muslim and Christian faith, the famous Baha'i religion world center as well as other smaller faiths. A great example of co-existence.

The main attractions in the city are:

The Baha'i Religion World Center

Simply magnificent. The Baha'i religion is centered on the ideas of peace and tolerance. The Baha'i center is built on Haifa’s Carmel Mountain, and has many gardens and a gold dome on top of the Baha'i shrine. But a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look…

The Baha'i Gardens, HaifaThe Baha'i Gardens

Nice, isn't it?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least ten thousand. So here is a video about the gardens:

You can arrange for a guided tour in the gardens free of charge.

Phone: 972-4-8313131
Address: Entrance through Zionut Blvd.
E-mail: [email protected]
Click here for the Baha'i world center website.

The Carmel Mountain

Haifa sits partially on the Carmel Mountain. The mountain isn’t very high but it is very close to the sea and gets quite a lot of humidity that allows for many different vegetation and flowers to grow. That makes the mountain very pretty.

Just outside the city you can go on a trek in the Carmel nature reserve. There are plenty of paths to walk or bike on, and the views from the mountain are truly awesome.

Part of the nature reserve is the Hay Bar – that means wild life in Hebrew. Endangered animals and birds are grown in this wildlife preserve with the purpose of releasing them back to their natural habitat.

Not too far on the western side of the Carmel you can check out the Ein Hod artists' village. If you are into art and artists you will love this place.

About half an hour's drive south-east of the city - on the other side of the Carmel - you will find the famous archeological site of Tel Megiddo, also known as Armageddon in the Christian tradition.

The Cave of Elijah

Elijah – or Eliyahu in Hebrew – was a biblical prophet who lived in Israel during the 9th century BCE. Elijah has many references in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions. He is known to confront the false prophets of the Baal – a pagan god – and to prove the existence of G-d by bringing down fire from the sky. Per the bible this event occurred on Mount Carmel. Elijah lived, taught and otherwise operated out of a cave in Mount Carmel.

In the cave you will see a domed chapel, and ceremonies are held in the cave from time to time. Since the cave is sacred to a few religions if you decide to visit there you will be asked to wear head covering.

On the western top side of the Carmel you can find the church and monastery of Stella Maris. The church has a really nice painted dome and is built on top of Elijah's cave.

A beautiful glass painted window at the Stela Maris churchA beautiful glass painted window at the Stela Maris church.

One attraction I hope you won’t miss is the cable car that goes up and down between the top of Carmel Mountain and the Haifa beach. The cable car is truly fun, especially with kids. Enjoy…

If you are already in the area I recommend that you check out the Druze village Daliyat el-Carmel. The Druze are a community of Arabic-speaking people with their own secret religion. Visit the market and try one of the authentic restaurants in the village.

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