Eurasia   >   Israel

HAIFA

Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and the largest city in the north of the country with a population close to 300,000. The city is located on Israel's Mediterranean shoreline, on Mount Carmel and at its foot. Haifa is an important transportation, industrial and cultural center and one of Israel's most important maritime trade centers.


Haifa is the second holiest city in the Baha'i Faith. The Bahá'í sites in Haifa were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008 and serve as one of the city's leading tourist sites.


Haifa is first mentioned historically around the 3rd century CE as a small town near Shikmona, the main Jewish town in the area at that time and a center for making the traditional Tekhelet dye used for Jewish Priests' temple cloth. The archaeological site of Shikmona lies southwest of the modern Bat Galim neighborhood. The Byzantine ruled there until the 7th century, when the city was conquered — first by the Persians, then by the Arabs. In 1100, it was conquered again by the Crusaders after a fierce battle with its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants. Under Crusader rule, the city was a part of the Principality of Galilee until the Muslim Mameluks captured it in 1265.


- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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