The Hanging Gardens of Haifa, also known as the Terraces of the Bahá’í Faith, are garden terraces located around the Shire of the Báb, in Haifa, the State of Israel. Comprising a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel, they are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel.
With over half a million visitors a year, their unique design, combining geometrical shapes and exquisite detailing with loving conservation of natural and historic landscape features, leaves an indelible impression on visitors. The work on the terraces began in 1987, where Fariborz Sahba began his work and oversaw the construction.
At the heart of the Hanging Gardens, stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith. 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.
There are nine concentric circles, which provide the main geometry of the eighteen terraces. The eighteen terraces plus the one terrace of the Shrine of the Báb make nineteen terraces total. Nineteen is a significant number within both the Bahá’í and Bábí religions.
The terraces were officially opened in June 2001, and they extend almost 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) up Mount Carmel, covering some 200,000 square meters (2,152,782 square feet). The gardens are linked by a set of stairs flanked by twin streams of running water cascading down the mountainside through the steps and terrace bridges.
The gardens have elements of the Persian gardens of Shiraz, Iran, the Nishat Bagh gardens of Kashmir, India and English gardens, isolating the site from the noise of the surroundings and connecting the different Bahá’í buildings on Mount Carmel together.
As the Bahá’í religion and temples all around the world are open for every single person, no matter the religion and skin color that person has, this alluring site is one of the most visited places in Haifa, and definitely one of the most peaceful ones in the world.