The efforts to increase fellowship were continued, which led to the name Baha'u'allah by Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri who also wrote to Pop Pious IX, Queen Victoria, Napolean III but he too was also banished to the Ottoman Empire's most infamous prisons located in Akko(Arce). This was after fleeing from persecution in Tehran, Istanbul, Badgbad and with conflict between the Babis(practioners of Bahai faith) arising it also wasn't long before the Ottoman authorities banished Bahais to Acre in Palestine(1868), the city is now part of Israel. This is also another beautiful city I visited while I was in Israel(post to come). It is considered to be one of the world's oldest cities to have been constantly inhabited and now seen as the birthplace of the Bahai faith. Each follower of the religion is required to make at least one pilgrimage to two of the most holy sites; in Haifa and Akko both of which are in Israel.
The Bahai gardens, now a UNESCO site, can be accessed either from the upper gate at Merkaz Carmel or the lower terrace at the Shderot Zionut. We approached from the top at Louis Promenade which also gives you panoramic views of Haifa. The Bahai Gardens are really unique and such a beautiful sight, featuring a staircase that ascends up the hill, with water features and a central terrace containing the golden domed Shrine of the Bab(founder of the faith). Some parts of the Garden are not accessible to tourists as they are considered sacred but amazingly tranquil. Beautiful colours giving you a sense of peace and harmony to be surrounded by such beauty. I had both my boyfriend's sister and brother giving me the tour of the city as one of them lives in Haifa. There are usually daily tours at 12pm in both English and Russian all free! In 45 minutes you are taken on a tour with 600 steps so comfortable shoes are a must. Getting to the Bahai Gardens and in and around the city is fairly easy as their are good bus transportation links throughout the city. I would recommend starting from the top and head down for the better views of the gardens.