Haifa, on hebrew is as Hefa. Israel’s third largest city, Haifa is a major industrial center and has a population of almost 300,000. According to a popular Israeli saying, “Tel Aviv plays while Jerusalem prays. But Haifa works!”
Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the history of settlement at the site spans more than 3,000 years. From 1948 the town remains under Israeli rule. Most of Haifa’s Arab inhabitants left after this, but the town still retains a cosmopolitan mixture of Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, and Baha’is. Haifa has several important religious sites and attracts many pilgrims and tourists alike each year.
Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa. Apart from its busy port on the bay, Haifa is situated on the northern slopes of Mount Carmel, where there are quiet and attractive suburbs for the city’s wealthy. Residential and business districts are on the slopes, while the finest residences and resort hotels are on the mountaintop, commanding scenic views of the entire bay area. The lower and upper cities are linked by a cable car. Haifa also has the only subway in Israel, the Carmelit, dating from 1959. Just to the south of Haifa are magnificent beaches that locals flock to, but few tourists know about.
- Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery
The Carmelite order of Catholic monks, now spread throughout the world, was founded here in the 12th century during the Crusades. The present monastery dates from the 19th century and is made of fine marble.
- Baha’i Shrine and Gardens
This important holy site of the Baha’i Faith is home to the Shrine of the Bab, administrative buildings and famous terraced gardens. Pilgrims come to the shrine from all parts of the world to pay homage to the first leaders of their faith.
Pictures of Haifa photo gallery added 28 of September, 2011.