The Terraces of the Bahai Faith are the most toured Site in Israel, with 900,000 people visiting them during 2011. According to the information released to the Israeli press on Monday, these numbers place the terraces above historic sites such as Masada and Caesarea.
The Terraces, also known as the Bahai Gardens, were opened to the public in 2001, and in the decade since they have attracted more than seven million visitors, with the numbers increasing steadily, and doubling between 2006 and 2011.
In 2008 the Bahai Gardens were added to UNSCO’s list of world heritage sites, “for their profound spiritual meaning,” and in the same year they won the most votes in a competition voting for the seven wonders of Israel.
Mayor of Haifa Yona Yahav spoke to reporters, saying the gardens were an important part of the scenery, and inviting those who have yet to visit to do so and enjoy the tours offered on daily basis.
The Bahai faith was established in 19th century Persia, and today there are an estimated 6 million believers living around the world. Located on the slopes of mount Carmel, the gardens in Haifa are one the religion’s two holy sites (the other one is in Acre, Israel), built around the Shrine of the Bab.