February 15, 2009
You might recall that back in Uganda we visited the only Bahai temple on the African continent. Well, the most important temple for the Bahai faith is located in Haifa, and it’s probably the only really beautiful tourist site the city has to offer (which is why many tourists skip Haifa altogether). Haifa is pretty close to kibbutz Gal Ed, so we decided to pay a visit. This was Pnina’s second visit, though it was her first time since the complex was vastly expanded and reopened. It was my first visit. Pnina’s sister, Miriam (aka “Muni”), joined us.
The Bahai complex in Haifa is really huge – it covers an entire hillside on Mount Carmel, facing the water:
There’s only a small portion of this complex that’s open to visitors, plus another section higher up for which you have to enter in a tour group. We visited the former. Basically it has a lot of painstakingly manicured gardens plus the holy temple that contains the remains of the Bahai leader: Bab. Photography is not allowed inside the temple, but there wasn’t that much to photograph anyways: a big Persian rug, some vases, flower petals on the floor, a chandelier above, but mostly plain white walls.
Pnina and Miriam:
The Holy temple containing Bab’s remains:
Pnina and Shahaf with a view of Moshava Germanit (the German Colony) and the Mediterranean Sea behind:
By the way, there’s another important Bahai site in Acco, north of Haifa. It’s a shrine, the place that contains the remains of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahai faith. We meant to visit this place too, but we didn’t get a chance. Next time!