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Middle East

Stella Maris Monastery

Photo by Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Bible teaches that the Prophet Elijah fought on Mount Carmel against prophets of the Baal. From then to this day, Carmel Mountain retains its religious significance. According to tradition, Elijah hid in the cave at the slopes of the sea star ridge. The Carmelite Christians sanctified an additional cave at the top of the ridge and erected a large monastery above, which today constitutes their world center. The large monastery known as the Stella Maris monastery was destroyed and rebuilt several times until its final establishment in 1836.

The monastery’s main hall is luxurious and resembles the shape of a cross. The ceiling of the hall is roofed and decorated with colorful paintings based on motifs from Old and New Testaments: Elijah rising to the heavens, David strings his harp, the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Family and the Four Evangelists. Latin inscriptions of biblical verses are written around the roofed dome.

We stopped into the Monastery for a quick visit and I was in awe of the beautiful painting on the top of the ceiling. The Monastery is free to the public and I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the Haifa area.

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