Haifa at night

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This postcard was part of the most international envelope I’ve ever received – it was sent from Belfast, via Royal Mail, the sender’s address was in NYC, and inside there was a postcard from Israel. Thank you, Roger! 😀

Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and the major city in the north of the country with a population close to 270,000. Along with its immediate suburbs Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Motskin, Kiryat Haim, Kiryat Yam, Nesher and Tirat Carmel, Haifa has a population of about 450,000. It is a seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline, below scenic Mount Carmel.

The phrase “Haifa works, Jerusalem prays, and Tel Aviv plays” refers to Haifa’s reputation as a city of workers. A generation ago Haifa’s image was that of a serious– and somewhat dull– labor city because of its many factories. It still has an industrial area to its north, where one of Israel’s two oil refineries is located.

The must-see landmark of the city are the Bahá’í Gardens and World Center, which were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July 2008. The World Centre is the holiest site of pilgrimage for the members of the Bahá’í faith, as well as the faith’s central administrative center.

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