Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel and the third largest city in the country. Over the centuries, the city has changed hands. It has been conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Persians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, British and the Israelis. Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa. With residents from the three largest religions as well as from various minority faiths, Haifa is also a symbol of outstanding co-existence and tolerance.
The Christian presence in Haifa, with its many churches, also contributes to the city’s image. A Maronite church is located next to Kikar Paris (Paris Square); adjacent to that is the Carmelite church dedicated to the Prophet Elijah, and not far from there is Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Parish Church. Atop the Carmel Mountain, holy to Christians, is the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery. In the monastery’s church is the grave of the Prophet Elijah, and in the monastery is a small museum dedicated to his life.