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Haifa
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Town in the north of Israel on a large bay, four times visited by Bahá'u'lláh. The area of Haifa was assigned by Jacob and Joshua to the Tribe of Zebulon. In the late 1860s and 1870s a German sect from W urttemberg, the Temple Society, settled in Haifa. The town continued to expand in the twentieth century with the opening of a railroad between Haifa and Damascus and the Ḥijáz in 1905 coupled with the decision of the British to make Haifa their principal Middle Eastern naval and oil port. Today Haifa is a major commercial city and port.
Bahá'u'lláh first landed in Haifa on 31 August 1868 after His journey of eleven days from Gallipoli by steamer. He and His companions were transferred from the steamer to a sailing vessel which carried them to 'Akká. Bahá'u'lláh visited Haifa three more times: in August 1883, in April 1890, and in the summer of 1891 for about three months. It was during this last visit that He revealed the Tablet of Carmel and pointed out to 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'the site which was to serve as the permanent resting-place of the Báb, and on which a befitting mausoleum was later to be erected'.1
'Abdu'l-Bahá made this prophecy about Haifa: 'In the future the distance between 'Akká and Haifa will be built up, and the two cities will join and clasp hands, becoming the two terminal sections of one mighty metropolis . . . The mountain and the plain will be dotted with the most modern buildings and palaces. Industries will be established and various institutions of philanthropic nature will be founded. The flowers of civilization and culture from all nations will be brought here to blend their fragrances together and blaze the way for the brotherhood of man. Wonderful gardens, orchards, groves and parks will be laid out on all sides. At night the great city will be lighted by electricity. The entire harbour from 'Akká to Haifa will be one path of illumination. Powerful searchlights will be placed on both sides of Mount Carmel to guide the steamers. Mount Carmel itself, from top to bottom, will be submerged in a sea of lights. A person standing on the summit of Mount Carmel, and the passengers of the steamers coming to it, will look upon the most sublime and majestic spectacle of the whole world.'2
'Abdu'l-Bahá built the Shrine of the Báb on the site pointed out to Him by Bahá'u'lláh, and the remains of the Báb were interred there on Naw-Rúz 1909. Shoghi Effendi later embellished the shrine with the golden-domed superstructure. Shoghi Effendi also began the construction of the arc, around which the administrative offices of the Faith are being built. Haifa thus serves both as a spiritual centre and point of pilgrimage and as the international administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith.
[BD 94-95]
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Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel - after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv- with a population of 279,591 in 2016. The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the second- or third-most populous metropolitan area in Israel. It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Bahá'í pilgrims.
Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: being conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Persians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, British, and the Israelis. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Haifa Municipality has governed the city.
Hefa or Hepha in Eusebius of Caesarea's 4th-century work, Onomasticon (Onom. 108, 31), is said to be another name for Sycaminus.
Geography
Haifa is situated on the Israeli Mediterranean Coastal Plain, the historic land bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia, and the mouth of the Kishon River. Located on the northern slopes of Mount Carmel and around Haifa Bay, the city is split over three tiers. The lowest is the center of commerce and industry including the Port of Haifa. The middle level is on the slopes of Mount Carmel and consists of older residential neighborhoods, while the upper level consists of modern neighborhoods looking over the lower tiers. From here views can be had across the Western Galilee region of Israel towards Rosh HaNikra and the Lebanese border. Haifa is about 90 kilometers (55.9 mi) north of the city of Tel Aviv, and has a large number of beaches on the Mediterranean.
Tourism
In 2005, Haifa has 13 hotels with a total of 1,462 rooms. The city has a 17 kilometres (11 mi) shoreline, of which 5 kilometres (3 mi) are beaches. Haifa's main tourist attraction is the Bahá'í World Centre, with the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb and the surrounding gardens. Between 2005 and 2006, 86,037 visited the shrine. In 2008, the Bahá'í gardens were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The restored German Colony, founded by the Templers, Stella Maris and Elijah's Cave also draw many tourists. Located in the Haifa district are the Ein Hod artists' colony, where over 90 artists and craftsmen have studios and exhibitions, and the Mount Carmel national park, with caves where Neanderthal and early Homo Sapiens remains were found.
Wikipedia - Haifa ]
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