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Haifa, Holy Land

Haifa, the 3rd largest city in Israel, lies on the western slope of Mount Carmel, descending to the Mediterranean shore, and offering magnificent views of the sea and Mount Carmel area. It has the country's largest port, thriving industries, institutes of higher education and many interesting museums.

Haifa is especially renown for the harmonious interaction among the different faiths, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i.

The Baha'i Shrine, Haifa

A very remarkable sight in Haifa is the Baha'i Shrine - The Shrine of the Bab. This gold-domed marble structure was built in 1953 over the burial place of Said Ali Mohammad (The Bab), whom founders of Baha'i religion consider as the forerunner of Baha'i faith. The shrine (like another Baha'i shrine, in Akko) is surrounded by a beautiful garden. The 19 magnificient terraces which stretch from the base to the top of Mount Carmel, were opened in 2001.

One of well-known churches of Haifa is Stella Maris church. This monastery of the Carmelite order is a pilgrimage center. In the church yard, there is a monument to Napoleon's soldiers (their hospital was located here). Across the road, there is a statue of Mary, which stands in front of so-called Abdallah Pasha's villa. From there you can walk down to Elijah (pbuh) the Prophet's cave in the slope of Carmel.

The Baha'i Gardens, Haifa

Next to the Stella Maris church, there is a station of Haifa cable car. From there one descends directly to the beach, observing some of the downtown area through the cable car windows.

Haifa University is also worth visiting. The 27-storeyed University tower stands on one of the peaks of Carmel. The upper level is specially designed for panoramic views. The tower is the upper part of a big complex, which includes a good museum.
 

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