Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Haifa, Israel

My First day of Discovering Israel

It's a wonderful tour I had with my boss. What makes me curious the most is, when he's very eager to take me to Stella Maris Church, w/c he said he's never been there also. He even didn't know where it is, coz obviously its a Catholic Church and my boss is a Jewish Religious. He said I'm curious what is Stella Maris, it's been always a talk of the town in Haifa,so let's discover it. It takes some half hours before we find it, oh we almost in the car when He said, look wait, let's go inside, I didn't expect that coz my boss doesn't want to be there inside, as a respect he removed his KIPPA before coming inside of Stella Maris. Wowww!!! I'm speechless when I saw how beautiful, amazing art inside. It's awesome, the ceiling, the walls, the floors and everything!!!


In the 12th century, during the Crusader occupation of the region, groups of religious hermits began to inhabit the caves of this area in imitation of Elijah the Prophet.
Within a century, these monastic hermits were organized into the Carmelite order and the Carmelite order spread throughout Europe.
While the Carmelite order's flourished in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, its founders on Mount Carmel were exiled at the time of the Mamluk conquest in 1291 and did not return until the 18th century. Construction of the present monastery and basilica was begun in 1836.
An earlier monastery complex on this site served as a hospital for Napoleon's soldiers during his unsuccessful siege of Acre (Akko) in 1799. Many abandoned French soldiers who were slaughtered by the Turks after Napoleon had retreated.
Dome of the Stella Maris 
Photo by: Ran Levi
Views of the exterior. Photos © Bettina & Dominique Zygmont.
Exterior walls. Photo Creative Commons License Noa Schek
Monument to fallen French soldiers. Photo Creative Commons License vad levin.
The Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery in Haifa, Israel, is a 19th-century monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The site can be reached by cable car or on foot.

What to See

Situated across the street from the Old Lighthouse, with a magnificent view of the sea, the entire ensemble of buildings, including the Lighthouse, is known as "Stella Maris."
The Stella Maris church is a beautiful structure, with Italian marble so brightly and vividly patterned that visitors sometimes think the walls have been painted.
Colorful paintings on the dome, done by Brother Luigi Poggi (1924-28), depict episodes from the Old Testament, the most dramatic being the scene of Elijah swept up in a chariot of fire. The statue of the Virgin Mary, carved from cedar of Lebanon, is also notable.
The cave situated below the altar, which you can walk down into, is "Elijah's Cave," where the Old Testament prophet is believed to have lived. Many little votive candles burn on the altar above the cave, each representing a Carmelite community in another country (the United States has its candle up on the left).
In the rooms to the right of the entryway, there is a charming nativity scene, a museum with artifacts from the Byzantine church that once stood on this site, and a small souvenir shop.
One of the monks will gladly give you a free pamphlet with information about the history of the site and the Carmelite order dating back to the arrival of the crusaders on this mountain in the late 12th century. They will answer any questions you may have, and guide you to the various interesting details of the church.
The pyramid in front of the church is a memorial to the French soldiers who died here after Napoleon's retreat. It bears the inscription "How are the mighty fallen in battle," from King David's lamentation over Saul and Jonathan.
Stella Maris, Haifa, Israel

Me at Stella Maris Church

Quick Facts
Address:Stella Maris Rd., Haifa, Israel
Location:Slopes of Mount Carmel
Bus:25, 26, or 31
Hours:English masses Mon-Sat 6:30am; Sun 7 and 9am. Modest dress required. Church open daily 6:30am-1:30pm and 3-6pm
Article Sources
  1. Frommer's Online-Only Guides: Haifa
  2. Eyewitness Travel Guide to Jerusalem & the Holy Land


Belts said...

Thank you for collecting pictures of these beautiful places and proving there information.

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