Haifa

  • Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa is the third largest city in the country and the industrial capital of the north, relying entirely on its port. Here, history has been written through conquest. This began with the Crusaders in 1100. In 1156, King Richard the Lionhearted founded the Carmelite Order in the city. In 1265, Sultan Baybars took the city from the Franks. ...
    © Silverjohn / INMAGINE
    Haifa

    Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa is the third largest city in the country and the industrial capital of the north, relying entirely on its port. Here, history has been written through conquest. This began with the Crusaders in 1100. In 1156, King Richard the Lionhearted founded the Carmelite Order in the city. In 1265, Sultan Baybars took the city from the Franks. ...

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Israel

Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa is the third largest city in the country and the industrial capital of the north, relying entirely on its port. Here, history has been written through conquest. This began with the Crusaders in 1100. In 1156, King Richard the Lionhearted founded the Carmelite Order in the city. In 1265, Sultan Baybars took the city from the Franks. In the 17th century, the city was fortified by a Bedouin sheikh. Then once again, the city was razed to the ground by Bonaparte... A gateway to the Promised Land, Haifa has played a very important role in the history of Jewish immigration in Palestine. It is the holy land of the Bahá'í Faith, a syncretic religion derived from Islam which emerged in Iran in 1844 and preaches universal unity and honours all the great prophets. According to the Old Testament, it was in the Cave of Elijah (today a synagogue) that this prophet challenged the priests of the god Baal by invoking the almighty Yahweh. The Carmel Monastery lies on the site where the first Christian monastery was built by the Franks in the middle of the 12th century. After being destroyed twice, it was rebuilt from 1827. Under the choir of the basilica is the cave that served as a refuge for Elijah. Today it is a place of pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims and the Druze. The Shrine of the Báb, a mausoleum with an impressive golden dome, was built in 1909. This building houses the body of Siyyid Ali Muhammad, or the "Báb", the founder of the Baha'i religion, who was executed in 1850 by the Iranian authorities. Make sure to visit the Beit HaGefen Jewish-Arab Culture Centre. This centre of meeting and dialogue between Jews and Arabs, which is unique in Israel, organises events centred around the subject of exchange between the two cultures (exhibitions, theatre, festivals, etc).

Haifa: what to visit?

Arts and culture

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