Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Haifa District, Israel
The Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery in Haifa, Israel, is a 19th-century monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The site can be reached by cable car or on foot.
In the 12th century, during the Crusader occupation of the region, groups of religious hermits began to inhabit the caves of this area in imitation of Elijah the Prophet.
Within a century, these monastic hermits were organized into the Carmelite order and the Carmelite order spread throughout Europe.
While the Carmelite order’s flourished in Europe throughout the Middle Ages, its founders on Mount Carmel were exiled at the time of the Mamluk conquest in 1291 and did not return until the 18th century. Construction of the present monastery and basilica was begun in 1836.
An earlier monastery complex on this site served as a hospital for Napoleon’s soldiers during his unsuccessful siege of Acre (Akko) in 1799. Many abandoned French soldiers who were slaughtered by the Turks after Napoleon had retreated.
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