Article - Shrine of the Bab
The Terraces of the Shrine of the Bab, Haifa
Mount Carmel holds great significance for the followers of the Baha’I religion as their spiritual and administrative center. More than a century ago, Baha’u’ll?h, the Prophet-Founder of the Bah?’I religion, visited the slopes of Mount Carmel and pointed out the spot, which was to serve as the permanent resting place for the remains of the Bab, His martyred Herald. The Bab foretold the coming of Baha’u’llah, whose appearance, he said would inaugurate an era of righteousness and peace.
The Bab’s remains were interred in 1909 in a mausoleum built on the exact spot chosen by Baha’u’llah. The ornamental superstructure and golden dome. Which make this Shrine one of Haifa’s best-known landmarks, were constructed over the mausoleum between 1949 and 1953. ‘Abdu’l-Bah?, the son of Baha’u’llah, expressed early in the 20th century, the vision of building 18 monumental terraces from the foot to the crest of Mount Carmel to provide a majestic path of approach to the Shrine of the Bab. The Shrine is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for the Baha’is.
Sacrificial contributions from Baha’is throughout the world made possible the start of construction of the terraces on 23 May 1990 and they were completed by December 2000. These terraces have transformed the rocky mountains into a place of consummate beauty and life. Today, the Shrine and its terraced gardens stand as a symbol of grandeur and beauty for the worldwide Baha’I community, dedicated to world peace, the unity of humanity, justice and equality. The terraces stretch about a kilometer up the mountain, reaching a height of 225 metres. The formal gardens along the central axis are adorned with fountains, balustrades and ornaments and extend on both sides into informal gardens of native trees and wildflowers. Their order and tranquility, harmonious and integrated design, provide visitors an experience at once uplifting, calming and enriching.
Their unique design by Iranian-born Canadian architect, Fariborz Sahba, has received two prestigious awards, the 1998 Ephraim Lifshitz Award from the Municipality of Haifa and the 1999 Magshim Award from the Council for a Beautiful Israel.
The historic German Templar Colony links the Bay of Haifa with the Baha’I gardens at the foot of Mount Carmel. The whole complex provides a majestic pathway from the sea to the crest of the mountain, creating a stunning panorama of incomparable beauty.
Baha’i World Centre