Pilgrim’s Notes of a Baha’i
The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa and ‘Akko
With over half a million visitors a year, the Bahá’í Gardens inHaifaand ‘Akko are among the most popular sites in theMiddle East. Their unique design, combining geometrical shapes and exquisite detailing with loving conservation of natural and historic landscape features, leaves an indelible impression on visitors. Many return again and again to experience the changing seasons and relive the serene tranquility and uplifting spirit of these special places.
In July 2008, the Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa and ‘Akko were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, in recognition of their “outstanding universal value” as holy places and places of pilgrimage for the followers of the Bahá’í Faith.
Like all great works of art, these extraordinary sites are tangible expressions of the human spirit. Here the impetus was not the creativity of a great artist, but rather the loving labor and sacrifice of many people from diverse origins and several generations, inspired by a common faith and an optimistic vision of our collective future.
The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa »
These gardens, located in the heart ofHaifa, comprise a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope ofMount Carmel. The golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, stands on the central terrace, looking across the bay towards ‘Akko.
While different parts of the gardens offer a variety of experiences, they speak in a common language of graveled paths, hedges and flower beds groomed and nurtured by dedicated gardeners. The gardens frame panoramic views of the city, the Galilee Hills and theMediterranean Sea.
The Bahá’í Gardens in ‘Akko »
The gardens at Bahjí in ‘Akkoform a wide circle surrounding the historic mansion where Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided during the final years of His life and the shrine where His remains were laid to rest.
The approach to the circular garden is a long, straight path framed with cypress trees and informal plantings. As you walk, the silence seems to grow in intensity. Entering the heart of the site is like arriving in a world of peace and serenity, a wall-less sanctuary that is protected without being enclosed.
In two previous days, I have presented to you the physical and spiritual gardens in the world of God. Today, I present to you another garden within our own self, which also need be beautified by the guidance of God:
“3. O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly.” (Baha’u'llah, The Persian Hidden Words)
Yes, without the education of Baha’u’llah, how can mankind enjoy such great festivities and how to live happily from eternity to eternity?
Filed under: True love | Tagged: Garden, Heart, Love, Nature, Nightingale, plants, Religion, Rose, serene tranquility, Spirituality, The righteous, Travel | 2 Comments »