Bahai World Center Tour, Haifa

Bahai World Center Tour (Self Guided), Haifa

Since its emergence in the 19th Century, the Baha’i Faith has spread its influence to many parts of the world. The Baha’I World Centre buildings are situated around Israel, and the most important ones are located in Haifa. Take this tour to discover the most popular Baha’i places in Haifa.
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Bahai World Center Tour Map

Guide Name: Bahai World Center Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Haifa (See other walking tours in Haifa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Original Western Pilgrim House
  • Second Western Pilgrim House
  • The Terraces / Hanging Gardens
  • Shrine of the Báb
  • International Archives
  • Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts
  • Universal House of Justice
  • International Teaching Centre
Original Western Pilgrim House

1) Original Western Pilgrim House

The original Western Pilgrim House, located at Haparsim (Persian) Street, was used as a Pilgrim House for members of the Bahá'í Faith of Western origin, who came here in the early years of the 20th Century. It was later replaced by the the new Western Pilgrim House on 10 Haparsim Street. This house is currently part of the Bahá'í World Centre. While it was originally rented to serve as a Pilgrim House, the house was then bought by `Abdu'l-Bahá. After the new Western Pilgrim House was built, the site was then used by members of the Bahá'í holy family. It left Bahá'í hands shortly before being re-bought by the Universal House of Justice.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Second Western Pilgrim House

2) Second Western Pilgrim House

The second Western Pilgrim House, often referred to as "the old western Pilgrim House", located at 10 Haparsim (Persian) Street, was used by pilgrims during the first half of the 20th Century. It is currently part of the Bahá'í World Centre, and is used by the Bahá'í International Community Secretariat and related offices. The house was originally paid for by William Harry Randall, a wealthy American Bahá'í, who felt the facilities of the previous Western Pilgrim House at 4 Haparsim were inadequate. Its construction was started under the instruction of `Abdu'l-Bahá, but was only completed during the time of Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Terraces / Hanging Gardens

3) The Terraces / Hanging Gardens (must see)

The Terraces of the Bahá'í Faith, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are garden terraces around the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. They are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel. The architect is Fariborz Sahba from Iran, the structural engineers are Karban and Co. from Haifa. Nine concentric circles provide the main geometry of the eighteen terraces. Just as the identification of a circle presupposes a centre, so the terraces have been conceived as generated from the Shrine of the Báb. The eighteen terraces plus the one terrace of the Shrine of the Báb make nineteen terraces total. Nineteen is a significant number within both the Bahá'í and Bábí religions. Fariborz Sahba began work in 1987 designing the gardens and oversaw construction.

The terraces were opened to the public in June 2001. Beginning at its base, the gardens extend almost a kilometre up the side of Mount Carmel, covering some 200,000 square metres of land. The gardens are linked by a set of stairs flanked by twin streams of running water cascading down the mountainside through the steps and terrace bridges. The gardens have elements of the Persian paradise gardens, isolating the site from the noise of the surroundings and connecting the different Bahá'í buildings on Mount Carmel together.

Tips & practical advice:
a) there are 3 parts of the gardens: upper cascade is open for visiting only at certain hours in groups of 25-35 ppl with a Bahai guide; middle garden with the Shrine is open till noon; and the lower cascade is closed for public (it's for Bahai only). b) Visiting hours are checked at ganbahai website. c) if you want to see as much as possible, you must enter the upper terrace at around 11am, then descend to the middle garden in time to visit it as well. Note: there might be a queue at the upper entrance. d) If you have no time to wait or no ability to descend many stairs, aim at the middle gardens. e) if you didn't make it in time, still you can visit the upmost (at Yefe Nof) or downmost (at Ben Gurion Blvd, German Colony) terraces – definitely worth seeing even only this bit.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Shrine of the Báb

4) Shrine of the Báb (must see)

The Shrine of the Báb is the site where the Báb's remains are laid to rest. The location was designated by Bahá'u'lláh himself in 1891 while he was camped, with `Abdu'l-Bahá, across from Mount Carmel. The site is right above the German Colony, which was established in the 1860s by the German Templar Society. Built by `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1909, the shrine’s superstructure was not completed until many years later by Shoghi Effendi and was finally dedicated in 1953. The architect was William Sutherland Maxwell, a Canadian Bahá'í who was a Beaux-Arts architect and the father-in-law of Shoghi Effendi. Some aspects of the dome's structural engineering were designed by Professor H. Neumann of Haifa's Technion University.

You are not allowed to climb the steps back up, so keep in mind that at the end of your time here you can exit and a walk or taxi to your next destination.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
International Archives

5) International Archives

The International Archives was the first building to be erected on the Arc, and holds many of the most sacred items within the Bahá'í Faith. Most importantly it was built to display the paintings and drawings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, along with a single photograph of Bahá'u'lláh. Although some of these items are available on the Internet today, most Bahá'ís prefer to see these items in person by making a pilgrimage to the site. Shoghi Effendi choose the Parthenon as the basis for the design. It was finished in 1957, but Shoghi Effendi never lived to furnish the interior. This was left to his wife Rúhíyyih Khanum. Previously the rear three rooms of the Shrine of the Báb and the building beside the Monument Gardens - now called the Department of Holy Places - were temporary archive buildings.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts

6) Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts

Built in 1999, the Center for the Study of the Sacred Texts is one of the main administrative buildings known as the Ark buildings. This beautiful center is for translators that work with the Baha’i texts and also for those who plan to work at the Universal House of Justice.
Universal House of Justice

7) Universal House of Justice

The Seat of the Universal House of Justice is where the center of the Bahá'í covenant sits. During a Bahá'í pilgrimage the members of the Universal House of Justice greet each of the pilgrims in turn before they are shown around main areas of the building. The building also houses offices of the Bahá'í World Centre. Located at the apex of The Arc, the house was built with 60 Corinthian columns around it to mirror the design of the International Archives. Designed by architect Hossein Amanat, it was completed in 1982 during the second stage of building on the Arc.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
International Teaching Centre

8) International Teaching Centre

The International Teaching Centre, also known simply as the ITC, is a Bahá'í institution based in the Bahá'í World Centre. Its duties are to stimulate and coordinate the Continental Board of Counselors and assist the Universal House of Justice in matters relating to teaching and protection of the faith. The membership of the Teaching Centre comprises nine counsellors appointed by the Universal House of Justice.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Haifa, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Haifa

Create Your Own Walk in Haifa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Haifa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Haifa Introduction Walking Tour

Haifa Introduction Walking Tour

Haifa is the largest city in the northern Israel, and the second largest in the country. Haifa was raised on the slopes of the Mount Carmel, dating back to Biblical times. The city preserved its history and traditions. Besides its great spiritual value, Haifa is also the cultural capital of Israel, home to a large number of museums, beautiful buildings and picturesque Persian gardens. Take this...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Haifa's Architectural Jewels

Haifa's Architectural Jewels

Haifa is a city that prides itself on preserving its history and traditions. As a result, today you can still see beautiful buildings around the city that date back to the 1800s, as well as some very picturesque Persian gardens. Take this tour to discover the most impressive buildings in Haifa.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles