The Shrine of the Bab is the golden-domed edifice which dominates the city of Haifa. The Bab was the Martyr-Herald of the Baha’i Faith who declared His mission in 1844 and who in 1850, at the age of 31 was executed in Tabriz, Persia, because of His liberal religious teachings. His remains were brought to the Holy Land and entombed in 1909 by Abdul Baha, son and successor of Baha u llah, in the original Shrine which Abdul Baha had built at his father’s behest. The present superstructure was begun in 1948 and completed in 1953.
This edifice, combining the style and proportions of European architecture with designs inspired by the sea, is of Chiampo stone, cut and carved in Italy, with monolith columns of rose Baveno granite. The 12,000 fish scale tiles were made in Holland by a process of fire glazing over gold leaf and in spite of their brilliant effect, cost about $1.00 each. The whole cost of the new building was about three quarters of a million dollars. All workers at the Baha’i Shrine are volunteers and must be members of the Faith.
The International Baha’i Archives Building completed in 1947 in the beautiful style of classical Greek architecture, stands opposite the shrine of the Bab on the other side of the main highway running up Mount Carmel. It likewise is built of chiampo stone, dressed and carved in Italy, the green tiles of the roof came from Holland.
This edifice is a private museum of Baha’i relics and historic material. In the garden adjacent to the archives are four with carrara marble monuments in the style of small temples consisting of cupola supported by slender columns. These are tombstones erected over the resting places of some of the inmediate members of the family of Baha’ u’ llah.