The Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery
Located on the hills of Mount Carmel and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Haifa Bay, the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery is not to be missed.
The monastery building dates back to the 19th century, but its location for the Carmelite religious order can be traced to the 13th century. The Carmelite order was estalished by religious hermits who originally came to Mount Carmel to reside in the caves where Elijah the Prophet is believed to have hidden. These monks remained in the Mount Carmel monastery until the Mameluke period during the late 13th Century when they were banished from the area. The site was used as a hospital for Napoleon’s troops during his attempt to take over Acre and was then renovated and restored to its original purpose by the Carmelite order in the mid 1800s.
Today, visitors to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery will see the Old Lighthouse, the church filled with beautiful Italian marble and paintings, a pyramid memorial to Napoleon’s fallen soldiers and a museum filled with objects from the building’s Byzantine period. Those interested in climbing through Elijah’s Cave can also do this while at the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery.
The Haifa cable car will bring you to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery or you can walk from the Central Carmel. The church is open for visits every day from 6:30 am until 1:30 pm, and again in the afternoon from 3 to 6 pm. Mass is held in English on Monday through Saturday at 6:30 am, and on Sunday at both 7 and 9 am. Visitors are asked to dress and act appropriately while visiting the house of prayer.