Here you can also see the remnants of a Crusader-period church and monastery. Beyond the church, a modern Carmelite chapel is surrounded by a fence. Go up the stairs on the left for a view from above of this chapel, built of local white chalkstone.
Stones brought from the coastal plain were used for the entrance. Catholic and Carmelite monks lived here and secluded themselves in a nearby cave, as far back as the Byzantine period. Nahal Siah was popular with monks due to the belief that the Prophet Elijah lived in the area. The church at the site was built in the 13th century. According to one version, in 1238, before the fall of the Crusader kingdom, the Carmelite order left the Holy Land after Muslims massacred their monks. The name of the wadi, Valley of the Martyrs, commemorates the massacre. In his book “Haifa or Life in Modern Palestine”, British 19th-century historian and Haifa resident Laurence Oliphant wrote (page 37), “There came a day, however, when their peaceful solitude was rudely disturbed. In 1238 the Saracens came upon them unexpectedly and massacred them all, not leaving one to tell the bloody tale. There seemed to be no record of the number who fell victims upon this occasion, but they must have been very numerous.”