The lush Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa, located about 10 miles apart, are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites as holy places and pilgrimage destinations for followers of the Bahá’í Faith. The golden-domed Shrine of the Báb is the focal point of the Haifa gardens, built on 19 landscaped terraces extending up the northern slope of Mount Carmel overlooking Haifa Bay.​

Bahá'í Gardens crown northern Israel

 

The Shrine of the Bab on Mount Carmel, Haifa, newly unveiled after more than two years of restoration. (Photo courtesy of Baha'i World Centre. All rights reserved.)

By Avigayil Kadesh

More than half a million visitors every year take advantage of free guided tours amid the serene tranquility and colorful groomed geometry of the Bahá’í Gardens in the northern Israeli cities of Haifa and Akko (Acre).

These two gardens, located about 10 miles apart, are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites as holy places and pilgrimage destinations for followers of the Bahá’í Faith. This monotheistic religion was founded in the 19th century based on the teachings of the Báb (Gate), born Siyyid ‘Ali-Muhammad in Iran and known as the Prophet-Herald.

The prophet’s tomb, the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb dating back to 1909, is the focal point of the Haifa gardens. The recently restored shrine, which was unveiled this spring, stands on the central terrace of 19 landscaped terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel overlooking Haifa Bay. In guided tours given in Hebrew, English and Russian (available daily except Wednesdays), visitors learn that there are approximately 1,700 steps from bottom to top.