Baha'i News -- World's Best Man-made Wonders World's Best Man-made Wonders

Take a trip around the world to see the most magnificent "Man-Made Wonders." From the Great Wall in China to the Ice Hotel in Quebec, Canada, these wonders reflect the history, hard work, and creativity mankind has accomplished throughout history.

Travel Channel examines the world's top 10 man-made wonders in an astounding program, aired several times in July 2002. The Baha'i World Centre Terraces is the ninth wonder featured. The official opening of the nineteen magnificent terraced gardens that stretch from the base to the crest of Mount Carmel, in Haifa, Israel, took place on the evening of 22 May 2001 - the 158th anniversary of the declaration by the Báb of His mission. The Báb, the first of the two Founders of the Bahá'í Faith, is buried in the golden-domed Shrine located at the Terraces' heart on "the mountain of the Lord."

On 22 May 2001, some 4,500 people, 3,300 of them Bahá'ís, representative of more than 200 countries and territories, gathered at the foot of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. They witnessed the opening of the Terraces of the Shrine of the Báb, a project begun ten years ago which transformed the ancient barren face of the mountain into 19 majestic terraced gardens cascading down the length of the mountain.

The Bahá'í Faith, founded in 1844, is the most recent of the world's monotheistic religions. Its founder, Bahá'u'lláh, spent the latter years of His life in the Holy Land as a prisoner of the Ottoman Turks, and the Faith's administrative and spiritual headquarters were established in what are today the twin cities of Acre and Haifa of modern Israel. The Bahá'ís have built world-class gardens to adorn the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, the second most holy spot of their Faith. These gardens also provide thousands of visitors with a contemplative space in which ordered flowerbeds, fountains, and flowing water give way to natural perimeters of trees and shrubs. They are an oasis of tranquility in the heart of a bustling port city. Following the official opening, the gardens opened to the public every day, free of charge. In the first three months of it's openning more than 54,000 people took the guided tours of the terraces. In addition, thousands more have visited the three sections of the gardens that are open to drop-in visitors. In all, more than 400,000 entries have been recorded between 4 June 2001, when the terraces were officially opened to the public, and 30 August 2001. At this rate the number of entries per year will add up to more than 1.5 million visitors.

The view a video clip of the Travel Channel's coverage of the Baha'i World Centre's Terraces click here.

©Copyright 2002

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