Carmel / Periods: Roman, Byzantine, Arabic, Crusader, Mameluke, Turks.


During the period of the crusades, the religious hermits began to take refuge in the caves of this region imitating Elijah the Prophet. In time, these hermits gathered in Carmelites and the Order of the Carmelites spread throughout Europe. While the Order of the Carmelites spread throughout Europe, its founders on Mount Carmel were exiled during the Mamluk conquest in 1291 and did not return until the 18th century. The construction of the monastery and the basilica was begun in 1836. It should also be noted that an old foundation on this site served as a refuge for the French soldiers of Napoleon during his unsuccessful siege of Acre in 1799.

The monastery

To the north-west of Israel, in the city of Haifa is located in front of the old lighthouse, with a magnificent view of the sea from the Stella Maris Monastery. The Stella Maris church is a magnificent building, with Italian marble, colorful paintings on the dome, representing events of the Old Testament. Here we find a magnificent statue of Mary, carved in Lebanese cedar. In the basement is a cave located, it is the “cave of Elijah”, where it is believed that the prophet lived. Not far we also find Baha’i Shrine & Gardens and the Church of The Holy Heart.

Many small votive candles of red color surmount the altar above the cave, each representing a Carmelite community. In the rooms located the entrance, we have a very nice crib, a museum with objects of the Byzantine church that was formerly on this site and a small souvenir shop.

Discover this place in Virtual Reality 360° by clicking on the image below.

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Images gallery from Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery


Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery

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