First worth noting that that gardens are covering the northern slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa; the Baháʼí Gardens; also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa; are an exquisitely manicured landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since it is based in the Wadi Nisnas and Hadar HaCarmel neighborhoods; the geometrically designed and meticulously manicured gardens feature 19 stunning curved terraces with an array of flora.
The Baháʼí Gardens
Notably the gardens were designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba in 1987 and opened to the public in June 2001; the geometrical design of the gardens is built around the axis connecting it with the City of Acre (Akko); one of the holy sites of the Bahá’í faith. Also, the gardens have 19 terraced steps in concentric circles filled with gravel paths; bright green lawns; perfectly trimmed hedges; small trees; a myriad of bright; blooming flowers; and several elegant water features.
Moreover, visitors can move between the terraces via a set of stairs flanked by gurgling twin streams that cascade down the mountain and terrace bridges and soak up breathtaking views of the city, the Galilee Hills, and the Mediterranean Sea.
In fact, its known Sahba drew inspiration from similar gardens around the world such as the Nishat Bagh gardens of Jammu and Kashmir in India; the Persian Gardens of Shiraz in Iran; and several English Gardens. Moreover, the gardens are centered around the domed Shrine of the Báb; which draws pilgrims from all over the world to pay homage to the first leaders of the Baháʼí faith.
The Baháʼí Faith
The Baháʼí faith is a monotheistic religion that was established around 200 years ago and has about seven million followers. Moreover, the religion was established by Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi; a Persian who revealed himself as the Prophet Bab and wanted to spread his beliefs. According to the faith, Baháʼí followers are required to make at least one pilgrimage to the two most holy sites which are in Akko and Haifa. Also the faith’s international collective body makes their decisions at the Baháʼí World Centre, which is situated in the Baháʼí Gardens.
Visiting the Bahai Gardens
So the Baháʼí Gardens are just under a mile in length and have three distinct sections; all of which are set against a backdrop of magnificent views of Haifa Bay. The main gates and entrance to the gardens are on Louis Promenade and lead to the upper section, and the middle section is centered around the gold-capped Shrine of the Bab where the remains of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith lay. The lower section of the gardens open to the German Colony.
The Bahá’í Gardens are open from 9:00 to 17:00, seven days a week; but the inner gardens near the shrine close at noon. The gardens are closed on Bahá’í holy days and Yom Kippur. Free guided tours in English are conducted in the gardens every day at noon and last about 45 minutes.