Bahai News - Haifa's Fabulous Gardens

Haifa's Fabulous Gardens

There are 19 ascending garden terraces, intricately planted with flowers, topiary, blossoming bushes and lawns and connected with stone staircases, reaching two-thirds of a mile up the side of Mount Carmel. Halfway up is the golden-domed Shrine of the Bab, and at the summit, the site where 3000 years ago the prophet Elijah fought the 400 priests of Baal.

These are the new Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, Israel, opening May 22 with Baha'i faithful from around the world witnessing their inuaguration.

Under development since 1987, the gardens cost more that $250 million and involved about 2,500 construction workers and gardeners.

They were designed by Fariburz Sahba, known for his plan of the Baha'i Lotus Temple in India. Terraces in his Haifa design represent nine concentric circles seeming to emanate from the Shrine of the Bab, which houses the grave of the Bab, Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, martyr of the Baha'i faith. "The Shrine of the Bab is envisaged as a precious gem, for which the terraces provide the setting, like a golden ring for a precious diamond," the designer says.

For more information: Israel Ministry of Tourism - 1 (888) 77-ISRAEL; http://www.goisrael.com


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