Bahai Gardens Mount Carmel

The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom.

They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God.

Isiah C 35: V 1-2

Sharon shall a pasture for the flocks and the valley of Achor a resting place for the cattle of my people who have sought me.

Isiah C 65 V 10

The Bahá’í Gardens in ‘Akko

The Bahá’í Gardens at Bahjí in ‘Akko form 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. Here the formal, precise gardening flows around historic buildings and natural elements that include a centuries-old sycamore fig tree and the remains of an ancient olive grove.

Visiting the gardens

The Bahá’í Gardens in ‘Akko are open from 9:00 to 16:00, seven days a week, but they are closed on Bahá’í holy days and Yom Kippur. There is no charge for entry and no need for a reservation.

For the most complete experience, we suggest you visit on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday between 9:00 and 12:00 noon. During these times, you can enter the inner garden and visit the shrine, if you wish. The rest of the time, it is possible to walk through the extensive outer gardens and view the heart of the site from the perimeter path, without going inside.

Tours may be arranged in advance for organized groups of 25 people or more and those with special interests.

Symbol of Beauty

Biblical, Mt. Carmel is referenced most often as a symbol of beauty and fertility. To be given the “splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed (Isa 35:2).

Solomon praised his beloved: “your head crowns you like Mount Carmel” (Song 7:5). But for Carmel to wither was a sign of devastating judgment (Nahum 1:4).

Mount Carmel is located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, overlooking the modern-day city of Haifa. Its location is easy to find on a map because it forms the only major mountainous outcrop into the sea along Israel’s otherwise relatively smooth coastline. Just look for the big “bump” on the northern coast.

Mount Carmel is made up of several joining highlands that extend from the Plain of Esdraelon (see Armageddon ) to the Mediterranean for a distance of nearly 12 miles (20 kilometers). The inland (eastern) section is much higher than the western part that reaches into, and causes to be formed, the Bay of Haifa.

Mount Carmel

The meaning of Carmel can be something like “park,” or “fertile ground”. The view of Haifa and the surrounding region from Mount Carmel is quite beautiful. The photograph shows the Plain of Esdraelon, or “Valley of Armageddon,” from Mount Carmel.

Mount Carmel was apparently a favorite place of Elijah, Israel’s eccentric prophet. Elijah seems to have had an intense personality, often brooding, and was very likely not an easy man to get along with, but he was always completely loyal and obedient to The Lord. His strong personality could either have been a requirement for, or perhaps was the result of, the difficult job that he had been given to do. He may well have led a lonely and persecuted life.

It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah made his stand against the many prophets of Baal and Asherah who were corrupting the Israelites at the time. The account is given in 1 Kings 18. After a supernatural demonstration of the difference between the true God and idolatry, the Israelites were convinced to turn back to the true God. The outcome of the contest was not as happy for Elijah’s opponents, who all lost their lives.

Fact Finder: How many pagan prophets did Elijah alone face there?
(a) 15 (b) 150 (c) 370 (d) 850
1 Kings 18:19 (total both the prophets of Baal and Ashe

The Glory of Zion(Matthew 9:32-34; Mark 7:31-37)1The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.2It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

3Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.6Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:

for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.9No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.