The Shrine of the Báb is a structure in Haifa, Israel where the remains of the Báb, founder of Bábism and forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh in the Bahá'í Faith, have been buried; it is considered to be the second holiest place on Earth for Bahá'ís, after the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh in Acre. Its precise location on Mount Carmel was designated by Bahá'u'lláh himself to his eldest son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, in 1891.
`Abdu'l-Bahá planned the structure, which was designed and completed several years later by his grandson, Shoghi Effendi. Crowning the design, as anticipated by `Abdu'l-Bahá, is a dome, which is set on an 18-windowed drum. That, in turn, is mounted on an octagon, a feature suggested by Shoghi Effendi. An arcade surrounds the stone edifice. A restoration project of the exterior and interior of the shrine started in 2008 and was completed in April 2011.
Design and composition :
The dome is composed of 12,000 fish-scale tiles of 50 different shapes and sizes made in Portugal by employing an innovative process involving fire-glazing over gold leaf. The cylinder drum rises 11 meters and rests on a circular steel-reinforced-concrete ring on the top of the octagon. The Shrine is also decorated with emerald green and scarlet mosaics on the balustrade above, a fire-gilded bronze symbol of the Greatest Name of the Bahá'í Faith at the four corners, and a multitude of intricate decorations and motifs.
Terraced Gardens :
Surrounded by terraced gardens, the Shrine is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Haifa and has attracted millions of visitors. The Shrine is enhanced by 19 garden terraces that stretch one kilometre from the base of Mount Carmel to its summit, and both the terraces and the Shrine are illuminated at night. The Bahá'ís consider the Shrine of the Báb and the surrounding gardens to be a "gift to humanity."