Discover the big city life in Haifa
Israel's third largest city, Haifa is a seaport city located on and around Mount Carmel on the Mediterranean coast. The current spelling and pronunciation of Haifa is based on the Arabic name 'Hayfā'. While there are many different forms of the name in various languages, 'Haifa' is the most commonly accepted version in the English language.
Haifa is an incredibly old Israeli city and was first mentioned in Talmudic literature in the 3rd century CE. Haifa has seen rulership under many different dynasties and national groups and leaders but today lies under Israeli control and is subsequently a part of Israel. The beginning of the 20th Century saw Haifa emerge as an industrial port city. The population continued to grow with the continued steady immigration of Jews from Europe until Jews became the dominant national group in the city. Unfortunately there was a period of civil unrest during the Arab-Israeli war of 1948 but the conflict has long since ceased. Today Haifa is a thriving center of industry and trade as well as being a diverse center of culture and a multi-ethnic society. Home to Jews, Arabs, Ahmedis, Baha'is and Druze, Haifa is well known for it's relatively high level of peaceful coexistence at a time when major conflicts continue to plague other parts of the country.
Haifa has quite a lot to see by way of attractions. For architectural enthusiasts, the 'German Colony' is quite interesting. A bastion of sturdy walls and structures in a sea of more roughly built and sometimes traditional houses, the buildings where once home to the members of the Temple Society who arrived and settled here in 1868. The Templars had a significant and positive impact on the modernization, commerce and industry of Haifa. For those interested in religious history, the 'Cave of Elijah' and the town of 'Shikmona' are situated at the foot of Mount Carmel. Then there is the Baha'i World Center which is made up of the Shrine of the Bab, the terraced gardens and the administrative buildings which make it an important place of worship and administration for those practicing the Baha'i Faith. There is also the Stella Maris monastery which was built by the Carmelites in the 19th Century and serves as a popular pilgrim and tourist attraction. Many students choose to study at the two university - the University of Haifa or the Israel Institute of Technology and Haifa enjoys quite a nice student atmosphere. The International Film Festival and the International Cartoon Exhibition are just two of the many annual festivals which are enjoyed here each year. Besides this, there are many other fine attractions to be enjoyed as well as great beaches and warm sunny skies.