While Israel is known for its ties to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with the more popular holy sites in Jerusalem, other places have religious significance across the country. One of those places is Haifa, the third largest city. Haifa is located along the Mediterranean coastline and has been a seaport for years with the earliest port city being established in the 14th century B.C.E.
Here are some destinations you can visit while staying in Haifa:
The Baha’i World Centre
The Baha’i World Centre is on Mount Carmel made by the people of the Baha’i faith. It is comprised of the Shrine of Bab, Shrine of Bahaullah, and Baha’i Gardens. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Between the World Heritage award and the spiritual significance, it has become a popular tourist destination and a pilgrimage site for those of the Baha’i faith.
It is also the administrative hub of the religion much like the Vatican for the Catholic faith. They decide on the study, translation, and practice of the Baha’i holy text. Their governing body, the Universal House of Justice, is also located in Haifa.
When visiting the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, or the Terraces of Baha’i Faith, on the northern part of Mount Carmel, you can see the German Colony down below. You can visit the colony to eat and shop.
During the confrontation against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, it is said that Elijah prayed and slept in a cave. Elijah is a prophet who lived in the northern part of Israel in the 9th century B.C.E. He is known as being one of the two people in the Bible to have never experienced death; instead, he was taken directly to heaven on a chariot of fire. Elijah’s Cave is a cavern that extends fourteen meters. It is believed that he stayed in this cave before challenging Baal. Elijah is relevant to the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze, and Baha’is. Besides the cave’s attachment to Elijah, it is believed that it holds healing powers. People have used their visits as an opportunity to pray.
Hadar is known as the city’s most diverse neighborhood because of the immigrants that live there. From Arabs, former Soviet Union members, to the small communities of the Orthodox and Filipinos, they have made Hadar their home. The neighborhood has many small stores and businesses. Due to the unique mix of residents, you may find bits and pieces from their cultures. Besides the storefronts that sell clothes, shoes, and accessories, you can find books in Russian, probably due to the immigrants from countries like Russia and Ukraine.
While you are in Hadar, visit the Beit HaKranot. It is an office building made in 1939, an era when Hadar was considered the commercial hub of Haifa. It is regarded as an architectural landmark. For those who are out to be inspired, there are many other buildings in the surrounding area made in the 1930s.
When looking for short term rentals in Israel, Hadar might be a neighborhood you can consider. The site www.koshack.com lists rentals for you to choose, from Tel Aviv Vacation Rentals to Jerusalem vacation rentals.
Don’t miss out on the sights of Haifa!