Bahai News - Historical places, famous faces
Wednesday, April 11, 2001
Historical places, famous faces
Major events mark 2001 as a banner year for travel
By DIANE SLAWYCH
If you thought 2000 was a banner year in tourism, have a look at what's in
store for 2001. Major events in Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and
the U.S. are taking place this year. And they're all built around major
anniversaries of famous people and important places.
ISRAEL: One of the most significant events in Baha'i history takes place in
Israel next month with the official opening of 19 terraced gardens, adorning
the face of Mount Carmel in the city of Haifa. Ten years in the making, the
terraces surround the Shrine of Bab, the prophet of the Baha'i faith who
died in 1850 as a martyr in Iran. Nine terraces lie below the Shrine and
nine rise above it reaching a height of 225 metres.
Close to 5,000 people from around the world, including 3,300 Baha'i faithful
will celebrate atop the mountain when the terraces open on May 22. An
oratorio and a symphony have been commissioned for the event. The gardens
will be open daily (free of charge). For details call 416-964-3784.
CURACAO: While Israel celebrates the Baha'i faith, Curacao turns its
attention to the Jewish faith. In the city of Willemstad, the Mikve
Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest continually worshipped-in Jewish temple
in the New World, celebrates its 350th anniversary this year. The Curacao
Tourist Board has announced Jewish Heritage Tour Packages from April
Rates start at US$295 per night which includes accommodation, breakfast and
a tour with stops at the Synagogue, the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum,
which contains an original Torah scroll brought to Curacao in 1659, the
Mongui Maduro Library which houses a collection of works on the history of
the Jewish community in Curacao; and the Scharloo neighbourhood of Willemstad
whose mansions were once home to Jewish settlers. For further information,
call Arza World Travel at 1-800-223-7406 or 1-800-3CURACAO or visit
SWITZERLAND: This year, Switzerland marks the 100th anniversary of the death
of Johanna Spyri, the author of the classic children's book Heidi, with
special events and tours.
One package trip, "Heidi's Switzerland," covers the eastern and southern part
of the country with overnight stays in Bad Ragaz, Davos, St. Moritz, Lugano
and Zurich. The six-day trip, which includes train travel and five nights
accommodation, costs $698 Cdn. For details visit www.raileurope.com/canada/rail/passes/heidi_switzerland.htm. Another
package trip called "Heidi's Trail" includes two nights accommodation,
three meals, train travel and admission to two museums, costs $268 Cdn
adult, $140 children under 16. Valid until Oct 28.
Three Swiss museums are staging Heidi exhibits, including the
Museum Strauhof in Zurich which presents "Heidi: The Career of a
Personality" from May 18 to August 5. Several Heidi-themed walking paths
have also been created. One covers the Maienfeld area, where Spyri often
walked and got her inspiration. For further information call toll free
011-800-100-200-30 or visit www.MySwitzerland.com or the Heidi home
page, when it becomes operational next month: www.MyHeidi.ch.
NEW ORLEANS, USA: Scholars and fans of Louis Armstrong gather
in New Orleans from all over the world this summer to celebrate the
centennial of the great music legend's birth. The four-day celebration
includes a music festival, walking tours of Armstrong's old
neighbourhoods, a club crawl, jazz mass and second-line parade.
The main event is the Louis Armstrong Centennial Conference,
August 2-4, at the Old Mint in the French Quarter, New Orleans, with
seminars on Armstrong's inventiveness, discussions on the history of
second-lines and jazz funerals, and memories of those who knew or were
influenced by Armstrong. You can attend individual sessions for US$20,
or the full conference for US$50 if booked before July 2. The price
rises to US$75 after July 2.
On Sunday August 5 the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the
Louisiana State Museum are sponsoring the first annual Satchmo
Summerfest, with music, food and fun in and around the Old Mint. For
details visit www.satchmo.com www.neworleanscvb. com or call
504-522-5730 for details.
ST. LOUIS, USA: Another music legend, Miles Davis, is being
celebrated this year. The jazz great who grew up in East St. Louis and
died in 1991, would have been 75 this year.
Opening May 13 is a nine-month long special exhibition on
Davis' life, including rare footage, audio tours and photographs at the
Missouri History Museum. And from May 24-28, the East St. Louis
waterfront will stage the Miles Davis Arts Festival featuring local and
national musicians. For festival details call 618-857-6808 or for museum
information call 314-746-4599.