Bahai Shrine and Gardens, Haifa
All along the pathways in the garden you find these small oasis of palm trees, some with small swaths of lawn and other bordering on a small pool of crystal clear water. Some might have a small bench that can be used to sit for a moment and enjoy the view or just to rest your feet from the climb. Always in the "picture" is the shrine itself, from every edge of the garden it can be seen.
Scattered around the Bai Hai gardens are sets of pools, or maybe a better word would be "situated", since they are far from a disorderly "scatter". They are well placed to offset the green and compliment the elements of stone that enclose them. Just one more element in the total soothing effect of the gardens. The pools are often "accompanied" by a bench, set in the shade of a palm tree where you can rest your feet while enjoying the gardens.
The tours of the gardens, both the lower and upper sections always begin at the higher section, thus you are always going DOWN and LOOKING down. The gardens begin at one of the highest points in the city of Haifa and exit near the level of the sea, a height difference of several hundred meters. Here are a few views you would see on your tour.
As I said the orientation on your tour is downwards, you begin at the "top" and walk constantly down toward the shrine (on the upper garden tour, and on the lower garden tour you begin at the shrine and walk down toward the sea). After we had passed the first terrace I looked up and found that the view was totally different in both color and perspective so I began looking UP as much as down. A curious thing I also observed after that first point was that I was the only person looking UPWARDS and taking pictures in that direction as well as downwards.
This beautiful golden-domed Shrine is located on Mt. Carmel, the site of the Adminstrative and Spiritual Center of the Baha'i religion. The remains of Said Ali Muhammad, one of the two founders of the Bahai religion are buried inside the Shrine. The spectacular Bahai Gardens, planted in 1909 and nurtured ever since surround the Shrine.
The old gardens were nice, but the new design is spectacular. It has been made the subject of a postage stamp here in Israel. The gardens are in three parts, the upper, lower and the center section where the temple is. The central gardens can be visited without a guide, but you must make an appointment to visit the temple. The upper and lower gardens can been seen only with a guide and at certain times. They also cannot be done together or consecutively, you must make seperate appointments for each.
This set of pictures will take you on a walk through the upper gardens.
The Terraces of the Bahá'í Faith are garden terraces that form nine above and nine below the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel within Haifa. Also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa they are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel. The architect is Fariborz Sahba from Canada.
The terraces represent the first eighteen disciples of the Báb, who were designated "Letter of the Living" (info.bahai.org).
Nine concentric circles thus provide the main geometry of the eighteen terraces. Just as the identification of a circle presupposes a centre, so the terraces have been conceived as generated from the Shrine of the Báb. The eighteen terraces plus the one terrace of the Shrine of the Báb make nineteen terraces total. Nineteen is a significant number within both the Bahá'í and Bábí religions.
( Information source, Wikipedia )
The bahai shrine is the center of the bahai religion.
There is beautiful gardens and the shrine with the golden dome where the founder of this religion is buried.
The view from here is amazing and the dome is very beautiful too.
Found some old pictures of the gardens before they underwent extensive redesigns in the 90's. This picture was taken back in 1982 and you did not have to wait in line to visit the gardens, just walk through the gates.
As you can see from the picture this may be ONE of the reasons they decided to redesign the gardens...this shows perfect planning, I mean where else would you plant a tree but in the EXACT middle of a walking path...^O^
The Bahai Shrine is one of Haifas most significant symbols and the second most important site in the Bahai religioun.
The Babs remains were buried at the site in 1909. Therefore, its the second most important center in the Bahai religion.
In 1953 the shrines golden dome and the new columns were inaugurated according to the design of the Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell. The shrine combains both western and eastern elements in its style.
The shrine is used for prays and meditations, and not for religious ritual. The decorations around it were made for beauty and with no religoious intents.
The shrine is open all week days from 9:00 to 12:00 A.M.
The Bahai shrine and gardens dominate the Haifa scenery and look different from each place in the city. The gardens are beautifully laid out and well worth a tour. The guides explain about this unique religion and show you around the Shrine of the Bab, with its wonderful golden dome.
The Golden Dome of the Shrine is impressive & can be seen from all over Haifa.
The Shrine of the Bab, has the Tomb of Bab inside, who is the man who came up with the BaHa'i Faith, Baha'u'llah. Which means the Spendour of God.
Baha'u'llah founded the off shoot of Islam faith in 1844, he was a Muslim Mystic. Their belief is that prophets will continue to come & teach us as they have done through history.
Prophets of the BaHa'i Faith include Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Zoroaster, Baha'u'llah and even Buddha.
As well as the Shrine, there are also some beautiful gardens to wander around, relax in and admire the Haifa views.
The most beautiful gardens which are absolutely the reason to visit Haifa!
The sites have a special significance to Bahá'ís because of the historical associations with the birth and development of the religion.
In 1890 Mount Carmel was chosen as the place to laid to rest the Bab of Baha'is. Arround it were established the administrative centre of the religion. The terraces as hanging gardens on the slopes of the Carmel range to create an appropriate setting and approach for this Shrine, like a golden ring for a precious diamond.
18 monumental terraces from the foot to the top of Mount Carmel, nine above and nine below the Shrine.
You must confirm reservation in the tel. no. below. Free entrance.
It will be a shame to visit the Bahai's gardens and miss the beautiful golden domed temple. Though you can go really inside... Just give a look through the door, toward the place where the remains of Said Ali Muhamad, one of the two founders of the Bahai faith are.
The temple is open everyday from 9:00 a.m to 12:00 a.m. So be aware to add it your terraces' tour, and enjoy the gradens encircle it.