Mount Carmel: description, history, attractions and interesting facts.


The Carmel mountain range cuts into the Mediterranean Sea, forming the homonymous bay from the side of Haifa, and in its western extremity almost plummets into the sea. The slopes are densely built up with urban areas and forest. On Carmel, as well as in all of Israel, there are many historical, Old Testament and modern places that tourists want to go to. What awaits the curious sightseer, pilgrim and just a curious guest of the country?


Mount Carmel (mount Carmel) is located in the northwestern part of Israel. It is part of the mountain range of the same name. The name translates as "the vineyard of God." Once upon a time, a vine grew on its slopes, destroyed by Muslims during the Arab invasion. The maximum height of the ridge reaches 546 meters above sea level.


Though Mount Carmel is a historic place, it is quite populated - a television tower is installed and functions at one of the peaks, serving the city of Haifa, the second largest in Israel. At the other top is one of the best technical universities in the world - Technion. A lighthouse works on the same mountain. Some of the slopes are occupied by residential areas of Haifa. Basically, wealthy citizens live here.

Nature reserve

The slopes of Carmel are covered with forests. A large part of the vegetation is represented by conifers, oaks, olive and pistachio trees. In the spring there is an active flowering of perennial grasses and bulbous plants, the mountain is covered with a bright carpet of primroses. The main types of rock that make up the mountain are limestone and chalk. For thousands of years, caves have been formed in them, where human traces relating to the 45-60 millennium BC have been found.

The greatest number of legends of Mount Carmel is associated with the life of the Prophet Elijah, mention of him is in the Bible. He lived in one of the caves and was equally revered by both Christians and Jews. The path of pilgrims to him does not dry up today.


Mount Carmel is part of the national reserve Nahal Mearot, where in addition to the rich flora, the local fauna is widely represented - Mediterranean foxes, wild boars, deer, jackals, porcupines, etc. Animals feel like owners on this land and often wander into residential areas spread out at the foot of the mountain. Haifa city. Walking, hiking and cycling trails are laid in the forest-park zone of the reserve, places for recreation and camping are equipped.

Short story

Mount Carmel, especially in the part where the Nahal Meart reserve is located, is replete with karst caves. Four of them are the main attractions and popular tourist sites. The caves of Tanur, Gamal, Nahal, Skhul are considered the most ancient of the now known places of residence of primitive communities of people. Scientists believe that the settlements found in them date back to about 500, 000 years BC.

Mount Carmel and its caves have long been used by people for housing. On the western slope of the mountain, near the town of Zichron Yaakov, are the Tabun and Shil caves. During the excavations carried out from 1929 to 1934, the fossil remains of ancient representatives of humanity, animal bones and tools, made of stone, were found in them. Scientists believe that the remains belong to people who lived in this area about 40-50 thousand years ago.


Archaeologists continue research, suggesting that mixed colonies consisting of representatives of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals settled in the caves. This is confirmed by the finds made in the caves. They pushed archaeologists and historians to another theory - experts believe that there was another human subspecies, but so far there is no fundamental evidence for this.

In addition to the remains of primitive people, traces of their activity were found in the caves of Mount Carmel - a few beads. According to scientists, shells with drilled holes were created over a hundred thousand years ago, which speaks of the skills of the first people and the availability of primitive tools for sufficiently fine work.

Cave of the Prophet Elijah

Mount Carmel and its attractions attract a steady stream of tourists. One of the most famous biblical stories associated with the prophet Elijah. The biography of the saint is given in the Old Testament, which says that he defied the prophets of Baal and confounded their religion with an effective prayer to the true god. According to legend, the event occurred at the highest point of the mountain, called Muhrar.

Mount Carmel gave its name to the Carmelite Order created in the 12th century. On that place of the mountain, where the monastery of the prophet Elijah was once the monastery of the Carmelites Stella Maris is located today. His activity resumed in the 19th century. According to some, the monastery was here in the early centuries of Christianity, founded by Queen Helen herself. She was later lost. Archaeological excavations confirm the fact that previously there was a monastery.

Carmelite Monastery

Today, everyone can visit the cave of the prophet Elijah. It is small in size. There is a legend that the Holy Family stayed in it on the way from Egypt to Nazareth. Above the cave is a temple in the form of a cross, the altar of which is composed of 12 stones. It is believed that the same was installed in the cave of the prophet.


The cave complex of Mount Carmel was once the refuge of 100 prophets who were fleeing the wrath of Queen Jezebel. A description of their salvation is given in the third Book of Kingdoms. It says that Obadia hid them in the caves, dividing them into two groups of 50 people, and “fed them with bread and water” until the trouble had passed.

Cable car

The Carmelite monastery on Mount Carmel is the spiritual center of the entire order. Most of its members were of French origin. Therefore, this part of the mountain received the second name - French Carmel.

Opposite the present monastery is the top station of the only cable car in Israel and an observation deck. From here you can admire a breathtaking view overlooking the city and the Mediterranean Sea. The descent to the cable car leads to the beaches of Bat Galim.


The gardens

Description Mount Carmel (mount Carmel) and its attractions may take more than one hour. But there is one pearl that no tourist passes by. On the slopes of the mountains are terraced gardens - "Bahai". Nineteen terraces are planted with amazing rare plants. Cacti grow here, rare shrubs and trees bloom, silvery olives rise. Fountains are scattered throughout.

Bahá’í Gardens are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This oasis is built around the tomb of the Bab, the founder of the relatively new Bahai religion, which is about 150 years old. The essence of the Baha'i belief is the trinity of man, God and religion.


Supporters recognize the importance of education, scientific and technological progress, strive for harmony and beauty. These views formed the idea of ​​creating gardens, the embodiment of which can be seen on the slopes of Mount Carmel.


On the territory of the reserve of Mount Carmel is a training zoo, designed for schoolwork. After the renovation of 2002, it became much more comfortable for animals and visitors. Improved infrastructure has made this part of the mountain one of the most popular routes for children and adults.

The park has increased the number of unique animals, improved their conditions of detention. For visitors, a large number of additional entertainment - an amusement park, playgrounds and recreation areas. In addition, a small part of the zoo is allocated to communicate with animals, where they can be petted and fed with the permission of the rangers.

The shortest metro

The shortest metro in the world passes in Mount Carmel. Its length is only two kilometers. Stops are made at six stations. The cars and the metro device itself are more like a hybrid of the metro and funicular. The rolling stock consists of two trains moving along a single track to meet each other. In the middle, the path divides into two tracks.


Metro serves one district of Haifa - Adar. This is the first Jewish quarter, the construction of which began in 1909 by German architect Kaufman. In this area there is a theater, the city hall of Haifa, Bahai gardens and some other administrative centers. The top metro station is located on the top of Mount Carmel, and the end point of the route is in the Lower Town.

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