Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guest Post: Baha'i Gardens and Shrine

            Our latest travels have taken us to the Baha’i Shrine and Gardens in Haifa, northern Israel.  Architect Fariborz Sahba designed the site with construction finishing in 2001.  In 2008, the gardens were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This is the international headquarters of the Baha’i faith, housing the Shrine of their Prophet, the Bab, as well as central archives and administrative buildings.  The gardens were built to provide tranquility for pilgrims in preparation to visit their holy shrine after their descent.

A view of the gardens and terraces from the bottom of the site

            In all, we took 1,700 steps that are broken up by 19 terraces.  So, our legs were definitely feeling like jelly at the end of our visit but it was so worth it!  The buildings on the grounds boast architectural influences of classic Rome, Corinthian columns, and even Asian influences in the construction of the arches.  All of these embellishments add to the distinct geometric layout of the gardens and buildings.  Our tour guide also informed us that over 450 species of plants are present on the grounds that are maintained by over 100 gardeners.  They certainly have their work cut out for them!

            What a pleasure it was to view the gardens and buildings.  You cannot help but be inspired in the presence of so much beauty and luckily I have hundreds of pictures to remind me. We are excited to explore more sites and tastes in the Middle East to share with you all!

Have a great day,

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