Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel

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Mount Carmel is a coastal mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 in northern Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 stretching from the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel. The range is a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 biosphere reserve
Biosphere reserve
The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

 and a number of towns are located there, most notably the city of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, Israel's third largest city, located on the northern slope.

Geography and geology


The phrase Mount Carmel has been used in three distinct ways:
  • To refer to the 39 km-long (24-mile long) mountain range, stretching as far in the southeast as Jenin
    Jenin
    Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

    .
  • To refer to the northwestern 19 km (11.8 mi) of the mountain range.
  • To refer to the headland
    Headland
    A headland is a point of land, usually high and often with a sheer drop, that extends out into a body of water.Headland can also refer to:*Headlands and bays*headLand, an Australian television series...

     at the northwestern end of the range.


The Carmel range is approximately 6.5 to 8 km (4 to 5 miles) wide, sloping gradually towards the southwest, but forming a steep ridge on the northeastern face, 546 m (1,810 ft) high. It is named Rom Carmel. The Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

 lies to the immediate northeast. The range forms a natural barrier in the landscape, just as the Jezreel Valley forms a natural passageway, and consequently the mountain range and the valley have had a large impact on migration and invasions through the Levant over time. The mountain formation is an admixture of limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 and flint
Flint
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. Inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, black, green, white, or brown in colour, and...

, containing many caves, and covered in several volcanic rocks. The sloped side of the mountain is covered with luxuriant vegetation, including oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

, olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

, and laurel
Laurel
-Botany:* Laurel family , a group of flowering plants** Azores laurel ** Bay Laurel , also called True Laurel** California Laurel ** Camphor Laurel...

 trees.

Several modern towns are located on the range, including Yokneam on the eastern ridge, Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'akov is a town in Israel, south of Haifa, and part of the Haifa District. It is located at the southern end of the Carmel mountain range overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, near the coastal highway...

 on the southern slope, the Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 town of Carmel City
Carmel City
Carmel City was a short-lived city in the Haifa District of Israel, named after its location on Mount Carmel. In 2003, the two Druze towns Daliyat al-Karmel and Isfiya were merged to become one city, initially known as Daliyat al-Karmel-Isfiya, and renamed to Carmel City in 2005.The merger was...

 on the more central part of the ridge, and the towns of Nesher
Nesher
Nesher is a city in the Haifa District of Israel. In 2011, Nesher had a population of 23,000. The mayor of Nesher is David Amar.-Etymology:...

, Tirat Hakarmel, and the city of Haifa
Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, on the far northwestern promontory
Promontory
Promontory may refer to:*Promontory, a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land or a body of water*Promontory, Utah, the location where the United States first Transcontinental Railroad was completed...

 and its base. There is also a small kibbutz called Beit Oren
Beit Oren
Beit Oren is a kibbutz in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.-Geography:Kibbutz Beit Oren is located in the heart of Carmel mountain range, right next to the Carmel Nature Reserve national park, an area often called "little Switzerland".-History:In...

, which is located on one of the highest points in the range to the southeast of Haifa.

Paleolithic history


As part of a 1929–1934 campaign, between 1930 and 1932, Dorothy Garrod
Dorothy Garrod
Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod CBE was a British archaeologist who was the first woman to hold an Oxbridge chair, partly through her pioneering work on the Palaeolithic period. Her father was Sir Archibald Garrod, the physician.-Life:Born in Oxford, she attended Newnham College, Cambridge...

 excavated four caves, and a number of rock shelters, in the Carmel mountain range at el-Wad, el-Tabun
Tabun, Israel
The Tabun Cave is an excavated cave located at Mount Carmel, Israel, which was occupied intermittently during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic ages . In the course of this period of time, deposits of sand, silt and clay of up to 25 meters accumulated in the cave...

, and Es Skhul
Es Skhul
Es Skhul is a cave site situated c. 20 kilometers south of the city of Haifa, Israel, and c. 3 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea. The prehistoric site, was first excavated by Dorothy Garrod in the summer of 1928...

. Garrod discovered Neanderthal
Neanderthal
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia...

 and early modern human remains, including the skeleton of a Neanderthal female, named Tabun I, which is regarded as one of the most important human fossils ever found. The excavation at el-Tabun produced the longest stratigraphic record
Stratigraphy
Stratigraphy, a branch of geology, studies rock layers and layering . It is primarily used in the study of sedimentary and layered volcanic rocks....

 in the region, spanning 600,000 or more years of human activity, from the Lower Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the...

 to the present day, representing roughly a million years of human evolution
Human evolution
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

. There are also several well-preserved burials of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens and passage from nomadic hunter-gatherer groups to complex, sedentary agricultural societies is extensively documented at the site. Taken together, these emphasize the paramount significance of the Mount Carmel caves for the study of human cultural and biological evolution within the framework of palaeo-ecological changes."

As a strategic location


Due to the lush vegetation on the sloped hillside, and many caves on the steeper side, Carmel became the haunt of criminals; Carmel was seen as a place offering an escape from Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

, as implied by the Book of Amos
Book of Amos
The Book of Amos is a prophetic book of the Hebrew Bible, one of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Amos, an older contemporary of Hosea and Isaiah, was active c. 750 BCE during the reign of Jeroboam II, making the Book of Amos the first biblical prophetic book written. Amos lived in the kingdom of Judah...

. According to the Books of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

, Elisha
Elisha
Elisha is a prophet mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an. His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic.-Biblical biography:...

 travelled to Carmel straight after cursing a group of young men because they had mocked him and the ascension of Elijah by jeering, "Go on up, bald man!" After this, bears came out of the forest and killed 42 of them (The noun na'ar always refers to males but can include different ages.) This does not necessarily imply that Elisha had sought asylum there from any potential backlash, although the description in the Book of Amos, of the location being a refuge, is dated by textual scholars to be earlier than the accounts of Elisha in the Book of Kings, and according to Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 it had continued to be a place of refuge until at least the first century.

According to Epiphanius
Epiphanius of Salamis
Epiphanius of Salamis was bishop of Salamis at the end of the 4th century. He is considered a saint and a Church Father by both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches. He gained a reputation as a strong defender of orthodoxy...

, and Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, Mount Carmel had been the stronghold of the Essenes
Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

 that came from a place in Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

 named Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

; though this Essene group are sometimes consequently referred to as Nazareans, they are not to be confused with the "Nazarene
Nazarene (sect)
The Nazarene sect is used in two contexts:* Firstly of the New Testament early church where in Acts 24:5 Paul is accused before Felix at Caesarea by Tertullus of being "a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."...

" sect, which followed the teachings of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, but associated with the Pharisees
Pharisees
The Pharisees were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews during the Second Temple period beginning under the Hasmonean dynasty in the wake of...

. Members of the modern American groups claiming to be Essenes, but viewed by scholars as having no ties to the historical group, treat Mount Carmel as having great religious significance on account of the protection it afforded to the historic Essene group.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Mount Carmel played a significant strategic role. The (20th century) Battle of Megiddo
Battle of Megiddo (1918)
The Battle of Megiddo took place between 19 September and 1 October 1918, in what was then the northern part of Ottoman Palestine and parts of present-day Syria and Jordan...

 took place at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge, which overlooks the Valley of Jezreel
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

 from the south. General Allenby
Edmund Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby
Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby GCB, GCMG, GCVO was a British soldier and administrator most famous for his role during the First World War, in which he led the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in the conquest of Palestine and Syria in 1917 and 1918.Allenby, nicknamed...

 led the British in the battle, which was the turning point in the war against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. The Jezreel Valley had played host to many battles before, including the very historically significant Battle of Megiddo
Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC)
The Battle of Megiddo was fought between Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the king of Kadesh. It is the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail. Megiddo is also the first recorded use of the...

 between the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ians and Canaanites, but it was only in the 20th century battle that the Carmel Ridge itself played a significant part, due to the developments in munitions.

As a sacred location


In ancient Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite culture, high places were frequently considered to be sacred, and Mount Carmel appears to have been no exception; Thutmose III
Thutmose III
Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh...

 lists a holy headland among his Canaanite territories, and if this equates to Carmel, as Egyptologists
Egyptology
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

 such as Maspero
Gaston Maspero
Gaston Camille Charles Maspero was a French Egyptologist.-Life:Gaston Maspero was born in Paris to parents of Lombard origin. While at school he showed a special taste for history, and by the age of fourteen he was already interested in hieroglyphic writing...

 believe, then it would indicate that the mountain headland was considered sacred from at least the 15th century BC. According to the Books of Kings, there was an altar to God on the mountain, which had fallen into ruin by the time of Ahab
Ahab
Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri according to the Hebrew Bible. His wife was Jezebel....

, but Elijah built a new one. Iamblichus describes Pythagoras
Pythagoras
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

 visiting the mountain on account of its reputation for sacredness, stating that it was the most holy of all mountains, and access was forbidden to many, while Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 states that there was an oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

 situated there, which Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 visited for a consultation; Tacitus states that there was an altar there, but without any image upon it, and without a temple around it.

Elijah



In mainstream Jewish, Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, and Islamic thought, Elijah is indelibly associated with the mountain, and he is regarded as having sometimes resided in a grotto
Grotto
A grotto is any type of natural or artificial cave that is associated with modern, historic or prehistoric use by humans. When it is not an artificial garden feature, a grotto is often a small cave near water and often flooded or liable to flood at high tide...

 on the mountain. Indeed, one name for Mount Carmel is جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas Mount Saint Elias. In the Books of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

, Elijah challenges 450 prophets of a particular Baal
Baal
Baʿal is a Northwest Semitic title and honorific meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu...

to a contest at the altar on Mount Carmel to determine whose deity was genuinely in control of the Kingdom of Israel; since the narrative is set during the rule of Ahab
Ahab
Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri according to the Hebrew Bible. His wife was Jezebel....

 and his association with the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns, biblical scholars
Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

 suspect that the Baal in question was probably Melqart
Melqart
Melqart, properly Phoenician Milk-Qart "King of the City", less accurately Melkart, Melkarth or Melgart , Akkadian Milqartu, was tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre as Eshmun protected Sidon. Melqart was often titled Ba‘l Ṣūr "Lord of Tyre", the ancestral king of the royal line...

.

According to the Bible in 1 Kings 18, the challenge was to see which deity could light a sacrifice by fire. After the prophets of Baal had failed to achieve this, Elijah had water poured on his sacrifice several times to saturate the altar, prostrated himself in prayer to God, fire fell from the sky, and immediately consumed the sacrifice and the water, prompting the Israelite witnesses to proclaim, "The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!". In the account, clouds gather, the sky turns black, and it rains heavily, ending a long drought.

Though there is no biblical reason to assume that the account of Elijah's victory refers to any particular part of Mount Carmel, Islamic tradition places it at a point known as El-Maharrakah, meaning the burning.

Carmelites



A Catholic religious order was founded on Mount Carmel in the 12th century, named the Carmelites
Carmelites
The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

, in reference to the mountain range; the founder was a certain Berthold
Saint Bertold
Saint Bertold of Mount Carmel was born in Limoges in south west France. He went to the Holy Lands as a Crusader and was in Antioch during its siege by the Saracens. It was around this time had Bertold had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the soldiers...

(who died at an unknown point after 1185), who was either a pilgrim
Pilgrim
A pilgrim is a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system...

 or crusader. The order was founded at the site that it claimed had once been the location of Elijah's cave, 1700 feet (518.2 m) above sea level at the northwestern end of the mountain range; this, perhaps not coincidentally, is also the highest natural point of the entire mountain range. Though there is no documentary evidence to support it, Carmelite tradition suggests that a community of Jewish hermit
Hermit
A hermit is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament .In the...

s had lived at the site from the time of Elijah until the Carmelites were founded there; prefixed to the Carmelite Constitution of 1281 was the claim that from the time when Elijah and Elisha had dwelt devoutly on Mount Carmel, priests and prophets, Jewish and Christian, had lived praiseworthy lives in holy penitence adjacent to the site of the fountain of Elisha, in an uninterrupted succession.

A Carmelite monastery
Stella Maris Monastery
The Stella Maris Monastery or Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Haifa is a 19th-century Carmelite nunnery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Israel.- History :...

 was founded at the site shortly after the order itself was created, and was dedicated to Mary, in her aspect of Star of the Sea
Our Lady, Star of the Sea
Our Lady, Star of the Sea is an ancient title for the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The words Star of the Sea are a translation of the Latin title Stella Maris, first reliably used with relation to the Virgin Mary in the ninth century...

(stella maris in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

) - a common medieval presentation of Mary; although Louis IX (of France)
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 is commonly referred to as the founder, he was not, and had merely visited it in 1252. The Carmelite order grew to be one of the major Catholic religious order
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

s worldwide, although the monastery at Carmel had a less successful history. During the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 the monastery often changed hands, frequently finding itself to have become a mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

; under Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic control, the location came to be known as El-Maharrakah, meaning place of burning, in reference to the account of Elijah's challenge to the priests of Hadad. In 1799 the building was finally converted into a hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

, by Napoleon, but in 1821 the surviving structure was destroyed by the pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

 of Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

. A new monastery was later constructed directly over a nearby cave, after funds were collected by the Carmelite order for restoration of the monastery; the cave, which now forms the crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 of the monastic church, is termed Elijah's grotto by the monks.

One of the oldest scapular
Scapular
The term scapular as used today refers to two specific, yet related, Christian Sacramentals, namely the monastic and devotional scapulars, although both forms may simply be referred to as "scapular"....

s is associated with Mount Carmel, and the Carmelites. According to Carmelite legend, the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
“Our Lady of Mount Carmel″ is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order, and the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel , is the habit of that Order...

 was first given to Simon Stock
Simon Stock
Saint Simon Stock, an Englishman who lived in the 13th century, was an early prior general of the Carmelite religious order. Little is known about his life with any historical certainty. The Blessed Virgin Mary is traditionally said to have appeared to him and given him the Carmelite habit, the...

, an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Carmelite, by Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Carmelites sometimes refer to Mary as Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries...

, in honour of the legend, and celebrate a feast day dedicated to her in this guise, on the 16 July.

Bahá'í Faith



Mount Carmel is considered a sacred place for Bahá'ís
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 around the world, and is the location of the Bahá'í World Centre
Bahá'í World Centre
The Bahá'í World Centre is the name given to the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith. The World Centre consists of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh near Acre, Israel, the Shrine of the Báb and its gardens on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and various other buildings in the area...

 and the Shrine of the Báb
Shrine of the Báb
The Shrine of the Báb is a structure in Haifa, Israel where the remains of the Báb, founder of Bábism and forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh in the Bahá'í Faith, have been laid to rest; it is considered to be the second holiest place on Earth for Bahá'ís, after the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Acre...

. The location of the Bahá'í holy places has its roots to the imprisonment of the religion's founder, Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh , born ' , was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and...

, near Haifa by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 during the Ottoman Empire's rule over Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

.

The Shrine of the Báb is a structure where the remains of the Báb
Báb
Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad Shírází was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the Bahá'í Faith. He was a merchant from Shíráz, Persia, who at the age of twenty-four claimed to be the promised Qá'im . After his declaration he took the title of Báb meaning "Gate"...

, the founder of Bábism
Bábism
The Babi Faith is a religious movement that flourished in Persia from 1844 to 1852, then lingered on in exile in the Ottoman Empire as well as underground. Its founder was Siyyid `Alí Muhammad Shirazi, who took the title Báb—meaning "Gate"—from a Shi'a theological term...

 and forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh , born ' , was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and...

 in the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, have been laid to rest. The shrine's precise location on Mount Carmel was designated by Bahá'u'lláh himself and the Báb's remains were laid to rest on March 21, 1909 in a six-room mausoleum made of local stone. The construction of the shrine with a golden dome was completed over the mausoleum in 1953, and a series of decorative terraces around the shrine were completed in 2001. The white marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

s used were from the same ancient source that most Athenian
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 masterpieces were using, the Penteliko Mountain.

Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh , born ' , was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and...

, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, writing in the Tablet of Carmel, designated the area around the shrine as the location for the administrative headquarters
Bahá'í World Centre
The Bahá'í World Centre is the name given to the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith. The World Centre consists of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh near Acre, Israel, the Shrine of the Báb and its gardens on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and various other buildings in the area...

 of the religion; the Bahá'í administrative buildings were constructed adjacent to the decorative terraces, and are referred to as the Arc
The Arc (Bahá'í)
The Arc is a number of Bahá'í administrative buildings at the Bahá'í World Centre on Mount Carmel located at Haifa, Israel. They include the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Seat of the International Teaching Centre, the International Archives, and the Centre for the Study of the Sacred...

, on account of their physical arrangement.

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community



The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the larger of two communities that arose from the Ahmadiyya movement founded in 1889 in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian . The original movement split into two factions soon after the death of the founder...

 has its largest Israeli mosque on Mount Carmel known as the Mahmood Mosque
Mahmood Mosque (Kababir)
The Mahmood Mosque in Kababir near Haifa was built by Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the late 1970s.- The Mosque :The neighbourhood's first mosque on Mount Carmel was built in 1931, and a larger grand mosque in the 1970s...

 in Kababir
Kababir
Kababir is a mixed neighbourhood of Jews and Ahmadi Muslim Arabs in Haifa.The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded in the 19th century, originating in India and settled in Kababir from Ni'lin near Jerusalem.- Mahmood mosque :...

. It is a unique structure composed of two minarets. The mosque was once visited by the President of Israel
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

, Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 for an Iftar
Iftar
Iftar , refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is done right after Maghrib time...

Dinner.

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