Israelis call the Baha'i Terraces, Gardens and Buildings
at the Baha'i World Center (in Haifa, Israel)
"The Eighth Wonder of the world"
The "Seat of the Universal House of Justice" — Baha’i World Center
For centuries Mt. Carmel -- the "mountain of God" -- has been referred to in the scriptures and traditions of three world Faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Today (after 100 years of gradual construction), the mountain has a new face. Moreover, according to the Israeli government, the Baha'i holy places (only one shown here) have now become the most visited religious sites in Israel-- visited more than the Jewish, Christian, or Islamic holy places.
You may wish to see the web site created by the Haifa City Tourists Board, not only illustrating the beauty of the World Center, but also explaining some history about how a religion, the Baha'i Faith, that originated in a Muslim country came to have its world center in the Jewish heartland -- reconciling conflicting creeds because of its belief in the essential unity of all religions.
Included here on this page are some extra photos that do not appear on the Israeli web site: The Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the Center for the Study of the Sacred Texts, the International Teaching Center, and the International Archives building (replica of the Parthenon).
Some of the buildings that are only three stories on top of the ground are nine stories deep into solid rock. The engineering feat of creating the 19 terraces on such a steep angle is only superseded by the shear beauty of the natural gardens surrounding them.
19 terraces, with the Shrine midway up Mt. Carmel, line up with Ben Gurian Ave. The ARC of administrative buildings is above Zionut
Street and to the left.)
If you look carefully, you can see the German "Templars" homes. They were adventists who moved to the foot of Mount Carmel in anticipation of the imminent "return" of the Christ. They started the colony of Haifa, and carved over their doors: "De Hier Ist Niche" -- "The Lord is Near."
They arrived in 1868, the very year of Baha'u'llah's arrival.
Also see: http://www.nybahai.org/pilgrimage/terraces_presentation.exe
(Self-running slide presentation with music)
Baha’i World Center
Situated on the Arc: International Teaching Center (ITC) <> Seat of the House of Justice <> Center for Study of Sacred Texts <> Archives
Above, you can see some of the top 19 terraces to the right of the Arc.
This model shows all the buildings above, with the addition of the library on the left (yet to be built).
Seat of the Universal House of Justice in the center of the arc
Gardens just in front of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice
Center for Study of Sacred Texts (on right side of arc)
Seat of the House of Justice as seen from the Center for Study of Sacred Texts
Looking beyond the Seat of the House of Justice towards the ITC
Domes of the Seat of the House of Justice and the ITC
International Teaching Center (on left side of arc)
International Teaching Center
International Archives building (on right side of arc)
International Archives building with upper terraces to right
Upper terraces (looking up from above the Shrine of the Báb)
More gardens around the International Archives building
Looking beyond the International Archives building to the dome of the Shrine
Shrine of the Báb, as seen from Terrace #1 (first of the 19 terraces)
Part of terrace #1 (level with Haifa's Ben Gurion avenue)
First nine (of 19) terraces below the Shrine of the Báb
Nine lower terraces – below the Shrine of the Báb
One of the many fountains on the lower terraces
View of the Shrine in the center of the 19 terraces, with the administrative buildings on the Arc to the left.
View of the Shrine of the Báb from terraces higher on the mountain
Arizona Garden adjacent to the Shrine of the Báb
Arizona Garden (upper right) can be seen again from this view (and in the one below)