Photo by Sensei Amnon
Gold camera, member has published more than 10 photos with very high rating
The Baha'i Shrine & Gardens
Haifa's most striking landmark is the splendid Baha'i Shrine and Gardens, located on the edge of the city center. The immaculate Baha'i gardens, with their stone peacocks and and delicately manicured cypress trees, are a restful, aesthetic memorial to the founders of the Baha'i Faith.
Pilgrims come to Haifa from all parts of the world to pay homage to the first leaders of their religion, which emphasizes unity across cultures and religions.
HistoryHaifa is the international headquarters for the gentle Baha'i Faith, which began amidst persecution in Persia in the mid-19th century.
Baha'is believe in the unity of all religions and believe that messengers of God like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad have been sent at different times in history with doctrines varying to fit changing social needs, but bringing substantially the same message.
The most recent of these heavenly teachers, according to Baha'is, was Baha' Allah (1817-92). He was exiled by the Turkish authorities to Acre (Akko), wrote his doctrines there, and died a peaceful death in Bahji House just north of Acre.
During one of His visits to Haifa in 1890, Baha'u'llah pointed out to his son the spot on Mount Carmel where the remains of the Bab, herald of the Baha'i faith, should be laid to rest in a befitting tomb.
The Bab's remains were hidden for years after he died a martyr's death in front of a firing squad. Eventually, his followers secretly carried his remains to the Holy Land.
What to SeeIn the Haifa gardens, the huge domed Shrine of the Bab entombs Baha' Allah's herald. The tomb is a spectacular sight, with ornamental gold work and flowers in almost every nook and cranny.
A visual symbol of the Baha'i emphasis on worldwide religious unity, the shrine is a blend of western and eastern styles. The granite columns recall classic Roman architecture, the Corinthian capitals are reminiscent of ancient Greece, and the arches add the flavor of the Orient.
On a higher hilltop stands the Corinthian-style Baha'i International Archives building, modeled after the Parthenon, and the Baha'i Universal House of Justice, with 58 marble columns and hanging gardens. These administrative buildings are not open to tourists.
All the Baha'i buildings face toward Acre, the burial place of Baha'u'llah.
The beautiful gardens were originally planned by Shoghi Effendi, the late Guardian of the Faith, and they have recently undergone a massive redesign aimed at putting them on the world's horticultural map.
The Baha'i gardens are now a geometric cascade of hanging gardens and terraces down to Ben Gurion Boulevard -a gift of visual pleasure to the city that gave the Baha'i religion its home and headquarters.
At the entrance to the shrine, where shoes must be removed, visitors are given a pamphlet providing further details on Baha'i history and doctrine.