Haifa's most famous landmark, the Bahai Shrine and Gardens is one of the most visited sites in Israel. The private compound is a testament to the Bahai faith’s belief in unity and harmony with its manicured lawns, detailed gardens and magnificent shrine. With its awe-inspiring perfection, the Bahai shrine and gardens are a must-see stop on your tour to Israel.
Dating from the mid-19th century, the Bahai is a monotheistic faith, drawing from Judaism, Islam and Christianity as well as its belief in the unity of all religions.
The Bahai World Center was built in 1963, on the occasion of the faith’s one-hundred-year anniversary, and is the Bahai’s key place of worship and main legislative center. Bahai pilgrims visit the center and the Shrine of the Bab, the founder of the Bahai.
The Bahai Faith: Inclusion and Unity
Perhaps the most central tenet of the Bahai faith is that of unison and harmony, a principle that comes across in the faith’s belief in the unity of all religions. According to Bahai teachings, the messengers of God -- Moses, Jesus and Muhammad -- were sent to lead humanity at different times in history as they were intended to fit the specific needs of society at that given time.
In an effort to capture the faith’s belief in the unity of all monotheistic faiths, its chosen architecture is an interesting blend of Eastern and Western styles. The granite columns recall classic Roman architecture; the Corinthian capitals are reminiscent of ancient Greece, while the arches add a touch of the Orient.
The Bahai Faith: The Bab
As was the case with Jesus and Moses, the Bab — the predecessor of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahai faith — also died a painful martyred death. His martyrdom came in the form of persecution, having been run out of Persia for his beliefs, and was eventually murdered in 1850 on an order from the Iranian government.
It was while on a visit to Palestine in 1890 that Baha’u’llah, the Bab’s successor and leader of the faith after his death, indicated were exactly the Bab was to be buried. The chosen place was on the slopes of Haifa’s majestic Mount Carmel.
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