In the twelfth century, when the Crusaders occupied the region, religious hermits began to live in the caves of the Carmel district, emulating Elijah the Prophet who has a strong connection to the region. Within a hundred years, there hermits formed the Carmelite order which spread throughout Europe. The founders of the Carmelite order were exiled at the time of the Mamluke conquest in 1291, returning a number of centuries later. The present monastery and basilica were constructed starting from 1836. The entire collection of buildings across from the Old Lighthouse is known as “Stella Maris.”
At the time that Napoleon tried unsuccessfully to conquer Acre, an earlier monastery complex in the same place served as a hospital for his soldiers. Today, a pyramid stands in front of the church as a memorial to the abandoned French soldiers who were killed by the Turks when Napoleon retreated.
The church is beautiful both inside and out, with stunningly vivid marble walls, colorful Biblical paintings and a carved, wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. The cave below the alter is believed to be the cave of Elijah
To the right of the entrance is a lovely nativity scene, a museum with artifacts and a small souvenir shop. A free pamphlet is available with information about the site and the Carmelite order. The view from the complex is stunning.
Be sure to respect the sanctity of the place by wearing modest clothing.
address: Stella Maris Road
Open Hours: Daily 06:30-13:30 & 15:00-18:00, English Mass Mon-Sat 06:30, Sun 07:00 & 09:00
Categories : Attractions
Hello reader. My name is Charlotte Noris and I am sure that you will definitely enjoy my blog. Do you know why? All because on the pages you will see bright and colorful photos, as well as useful information. My husband and I are freelancers, so we can travel at any time of the year.
For myself, I most often plan tours in advance, but it also happens that the trip turns out to be spontaneous when I see an interesting place and a nice price. At the age of 35, I have visited more than 30 countries and do not plan to stop there. I want to visit all continents and the most secret corners of our planet.