Haifa & Akko (Acre), Israel

Beautiful Bahai Gardens Haifa Israel
Beautiful Bahai Gardens 
- Haifa, Israel
Akko Acre Port Israel
Akko (Acre) Port - Israel
Haifa from Mount Carmel Israel
Haifa from Mount Carmel - Israel
Dado Beach Haifa Israel girl girls bikini
Dado Beach - Haifa, Israel
Haifa and Akko (Acre), Israel (5/25-27/2010)

Haifa - home of the breathtaking Baha’i Gardens and much more! 

Exploring Haifa is an adventure in of itself. A cable car, the Carmelit, that goes up and down Mount Carmel is Israel's only subway with a single track, six stations, and two trains. The Carmelit is listed in the Guinness World Records as the world's shortest metro line.

Taking the Carmelit cable car up to the top of Haifa's Mount Carmel, we walked along Carmel’s Louis Promenade for the lovely views of Haifa (see photo) to Haifa’s most striking feature, the 18 terraces of the Baha’i Gardens with its beautiful slash of color and green running the entire length of Mount Carmel (see photo) with its profussion of manicured lawns, reflecting pools, statues, and marble temples. The photo of Baha'i Gardens would be even more striking if the shinning golden dome was not covered for reconstruction.

In 1909 Haifa became central to the Baha’i Faith, when the remains of their prophet, the Babb, were moved to Akko (Acre) and the beautiful shrine and gardens, now an UNESCO World Heritage Site, were built on Mount Carmel. Haifa is also important to the Baha’is because it is near here in Akko where the Ottomans had imprisoned the founder of the religion, Baha’u’llah. While in prison for 25 years, he wrote many documents that are the foundation of the Baha’i Faith now claiming 5 million followers worldwide predominately in India.  

Stella Maris Church Haifa Israel
Stella Maris Church - Haifa, Israel
Just below the Baha’i Gardens, we had lunch in Haifa's German Colony established by the Christian Templers in 1869. The British expelled the remaining Germans during WWII and the lovely restored street is now a premier shopping and dining area. Later we visited the attractive Stella Maris Church and hiked down to Elijah's Cave, both related to prophet, Elijah, who lived in the area surrounding Haifa and is holly to Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druze. 

Elijah's Cave Haifa Israel
Elijah's Cave - Haifa, Israel
Some history of Haifa... Haifa, now Israel’s third largest city, built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, has a history dating back to Biblical times. Over the centuries, it has been conquered and ruled by the Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders under Richard the Lionhearted, Ottomans, French, Egyptians, and the British. Two days after the British left in April 1948, Jewish armed forces took control of Haifa. This lead to the displacement of a majority of Haifa's Arab population.

Map of Haifa Israel
Map of Haifa, Israel
With the large recent immigration of Jews to Haifa, especially from Russia, the population in the area is now just over 1 million, about 75% Jewish. In 2006, during the conflict with Lebanon, 93 Hezbollah rockets hit Haifa, killing 11 civilians. In spite of that, Haifa serves as a model of Arab/Jewish cooperation working side by side and it plays an important role in Israel's economy. 

Haifa is Israel’s most important seaport and has several high-tech parks and two respected academic institutions, the University of Haifa and the Technion (with Nobel Prize winning professors). Haifa also boasts a nice beach area and seaside promenade, which we could not stay away from (see photo of Dado Beach).  

Muslim Women Children Akko Acre Israel
Muslim Women & Children 
- Akko (Acre), Israel
We also drove north and visited the historic Old City of Akko (also known as Acre from the days of the Knights Templar Crusaders) that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in Israel dating back to the 19th century BC. The Crusaders built a citadel and monumental fortifications, seawalls, and the Knights' Hall, a subterranean network of vaulted corridors that held 50,000 soldiers during their 12th-century heyday.
Souq Market Akko Acre Israel
Souq (Market) - Akko (Acre), Israel

It was interesting to wander Akko's ancient restored massive sea wall, narrow winding cobblestoned alleys, Venice Square & fishermen’s harbor, and the El Jazzar Mosque. Akko's teeming soug (market - see photo) offered a unique place stop for a falafel pita sandwich.

Please see our other 7 blog posts about this historical and interesting country of Israel:

Israel Zichron Yaacov Wine Country

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  1. After read your blog I wish to visit Beautiful Bahai Gardens and Dado Beach. Please post some more pics also. If you know about any holy places please post that information also.:)

  2. The photo he shared is of him and his group on Mt. Adir in Sasa overlooking the Israeli/Lebanon border. דילים לחול


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