The Bahai Shrine, or Shrine of the Bab, is a golden domed building located in the center of beautiful, green manicured gardens that make their way up the northern side of Mount Carmel in Haifa. The Bahai Gardens stretch from Haifa’s German Colony near the Mediterranean Sea waters up to the Haifa Promenade near the city’s Carmel Center.
The Bahai Shrine was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008; it has a twin garden in Haifa’s neighboring city of Akko. The Bahai Gardens in Haifa feature a central staircase with nineteen terraces surrounded by flower gardens, manicured trees and gravel-lined paths. The shrine itself is the second holiest place to the Bahai religion, drawing pilgrims to honor a faith focused primarily on world unity and peace. The Bahai Shrine houses the tomb of the Bab, founder of the Bahai faith, and his son – successor as the holy leader – in a beautifully constructed, gold- and flower-filled room. The Bahai Universal House of Justice and International Archives sit in a building further up the mountain; this impressive structure can be viewed only from the outside, as it is not open to visitors.
The Bahai Gardens are open to visitors seven days a week from 9am until 5pm; the inner garden, which includes a tour of the Bahai Shrine, closes each day at 12pm. With the exception of small gated areas, the Bahai Gardens and Bahai Shrine can be visited only on guided tours booked in advance. Tours are free.