Eliah Grotto, Stella Maris Church, Haifa
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Panoramic photo by Zoran Strajin EXPERT Taken 10:33, 15/09/2011 - Views loading...

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Eliah Grotto, Stella Maris Church, Haifa

The World > Asia > Middle East > Israel

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On the east side of the Church of Stella Maris is a small cave where, according to Carmelite tradition, Elijah has stayed. The inscription reads: "Hanc aliquando speluncam incoluit Maguns illa Prophetarum  Dux et Pater Elias Thesbites", which is in Latin for "in this cave stayed occasionally the great leader and father of the prophets - Elijah the Tishbite".  The small cave is about 3M by 5M.

On the floor before the cave are three markers that commemorate the founders of the Cramelite order -  Berthold, St. Brocardus and Prosper.

Inside the cave,  behind the pair of marble columns, is a table where dozens of candles light up, and a stone altar is in the center.

On top of the marble table is a statue of Elijah. According to tradition, the stone was the bedrock on which Elijah has slept.

According to a late Jewish tradition, this is the cave and tomb of Elisha, Elijah's follower and prophet, who also resided in the Carmel (2 Kings 2: 25"And he went from thence to mount Carmel..."). Another tradition locates his tomb in Samaria, the capital of the Northern Israelite Kingdom.

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This panorama was taken in Israel, Middle East

This is an overview of Middle East

Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.

The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.

Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!

When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.

Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.

Text by Steve Smith.

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