National Maritime Museum Haifa

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The National Maritime Museum Haifa

The National Maritime Museum in Haifa is dedicated to the seafaring history of the Mediterranean Sea. The museum was founded in 1950 by lieutenant commander Arie Ben-Eli whose own collection served as its base. In 1972 the museum moved to its present location.

The Maritime Museum is a showcase of the history of shipping in the Mediterranean and the maritime story of the port of Haifa. The museum exhibits relate the story of over 5000 years of maritime history giving visitors an opportunity to learn about ancient ships, anchors, battling rams, and other archaeological finds, such as gold coins and artefacts found in marine excavations.  The museum also displays the pirate exhibition and the history of shipping in Israel.

The National Maritime Museum was established in 1953, from the private collection of its founder and first director Aryeh Ben- Eli. In 1972, with the help of donations from the Morrison Fund from London, Haifa Municipality, and friends from Israel and abroad, the museum moved to its current location. In 1995, the museum’s collection of ancient art was added to the Museum’s collection. This included exhibits from marine archaeology with ancient Phoenician, Greek, and Roman sculptures.

From start the Museum has endevoured to display maritime history and make it possible for the public hear the stories and see exhibits from the Mediterranean. The three-floor museum covers 3,500 Square metres and includes two permanent exhibitions on two floors, a hall for changing exhibitions, collection rooms, offices, and research facilities.

The museum’s collections has expanded over the years. In 1995 the entire
collection of The Museum of Ancient Art, Haifa, was incorporated into that of The National Maritime Museum.

The museum galleries offer an overview of five thousand years of maritime history through archaeological artefacts excavated from the sea, ship models from different periods, art, navigational instruments, manuscripts and more.

The museum covers topics such as warfare at sea and the famous naval ram from Atlit, cartography, sea trade, pirates and Israel’s shipping during the 20th century,seamen’s craftsmanship, sea cults, shipwrecks, ancient Egypt, Tel Shikmona and the royal inscription of Tiglath-Pileser I.