- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Carmelite Monastery and Stella Maris Church
Carmelite Monastery and Stella Maris Church Review
The imposing Stella Maris (Latin for "Star of the Sea") is graced by wall and ceiling paintings that bring to life the dramatic story of the prophet Elijah, the patron of the Carmelite order, and that depict King David, the Holy Family, and the four evangelists. During the Crusader period, hermits emulating Elijah's ascetic life lived in caves on this steep mountain slope. In the early 13th century, they united under the leadership of Saint Berthold, who petitioned the patriarch of Jerusalem for a charter. Thus was born the Carmelite order, which spread across Europe. The Carmelite monks were forced to leave their settlements on Mt. Carmel at the end of the 13th century and could not return for nearly four centuries. When they found Elijah's cave inhabited by Muslim dervishes, they set up a monastery nearby.
The church of the present monastery dates from 1836 and was built with the munificence of the French monarchy, hence the name of the surrounding neighborhood: French Carmel. A small pyramid memorial topped with an iron cross commemorates those French who were slaughtered here by the Turks in 1799 after the retreating Napoléon left his ailing troops behind at the monastery. Inside, paintings in the dome depict Elijah in the chariot of fire in which he ascended to heaven, and other biblical prophets. The small grotto a few steps down at the end of the nave is traditionally associated with Elijah and his pupil, Elisha.
- Address: Stella Maris Rd., French Carmel, Haifa, 31090
- Phone: 04/833–7758
- Cost: Free
- Hours: Daily 8–12:30 and 3–6.
- Location: Haifa
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Hi All --
Finally posted my Jordan & Israel trip (April 2012) report. Read more
My first day in Israel, (Tel Aviv on a Saturday), was pretty quiet. Read more
I am 35 years old, jewish, and will be in Israel for a week staying in Tel Aviv. Read more
· News & Features
For a lover of brews, there's no place quite like New Zealand. ... Read more
Phu Quoc, a fishing island in the Gulf of Thailand, is a quiet refuge of serene beaches, phenomenal seafood,... Read more
Travel is as much about the journey as the destination.... Read more