Religious Freedom in Israel

Carmelite Monastery to follow Bahai Temple

Garden will span an area of three hectares and will feature numerous statues, religious artifacts and a large amphitheatre overlooking a spectacular view

By Ofer Petersburg, YNet News, February 19, 2007

The order of the Carmelite Monastery in Haifa, Israel, a 19th-century monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel, became envious of the beautiful Bahai Temple gardens in Haifa and decided to follow suit by creating its own.

The Carmelite gardens will be built on the mountainside of the Stella Maris neighborhood, where a military army based was located until recently. The garden will span an area of three hectares and will feature numerous statues, religious artifacts and a large amphitheatre overlooking a spectacular view.

As in the Bahai gardens, the Carmelite garden will also have a visitors’ center that will be open to the public. An American landscape architect was hired to design the garden.

The cost for building the garden is estimated $200 million, while the initial investment totals $50 million.

This week, an official from the Carmelite Monastery submitted a building plan to the district planning committee for a complex in the Stella Maris neighborhood comprising 350 housing units, an elderly citizen’s home, a small commercial center and a hotel comprising 100 rooms.

The apartments will not only be sold to Carmelite community members, but to the general public. Revenues incurred from the sales of the apartments will be used for funding the Carmelite garden.

The Carmelite Order is an enclosed Catholic order founded in the 12th century by a group of Europeans led by a man commonly called Saint Bertold on Mount Carmel, Israel, where the order received its name.
Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3366925,00.html

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