At the foot of the Bahai Gardens, lies the old German
In 1868 Christoph Hoffman and Georg David Hardegg
came from Wuttemberg, Germany to Haifa. They were
members of the Templar Society (not to be confused with
the Knights of the Templars). At the time, Haifa was a
town of 4,000 people. The Templars are just one of the
groups credited with Haifa's development at the time. It
was around this time that the Baha `u' llah, (founder of
the Bahai religeon) arrived in Haifa.
The Templars purchased land that was far from the
city and set out to build the first planned agricultural
community in the Holy Land. Hardegg stayed and
established the community in Haifa, while Hoffman
established the second Templar community in Jaffa.
The colony's main street was one of the most
beautiful streets built during that era and was cause
for much admiration. The street was 30 meters wide and
had trees on both sides. The houses were built of stone,
under the supervision of the architect Ya'akov Shumacher
and boasted red-shingled roofs.
Today, this area (primarily Ben Gurion Boulevard,
which is also where the Haifa Tourist Board is located,
see separate note) is undergoing renovations. The
renovators have placed signs in front of various
buildings. This enables anyone interested in learning
more about the beginnings of the colony an opportunity
to take a self guided tour of the area.
The most significant building being renovated is the
former Beit Am (House of the People), one of the first
buildings built in the colony. It served as a place of
worship and community center. Located at 11 Ben Gurion
Boulevard, the building's rennovation will be complete
in roughly 18-20 months.
Even if you don't have time to walk in this area it's
worth going to Ben Gurion Boulevard - just to look up
the mountain and see a unique view of the new Bahai
Last summer students from Haifa University's Theater
Department held a street theater in the colony.
According to the Haifa Tourist Board, it appears that
performances will be held this summer as well, from July
to October, twice a week, in the early evening hours. At
the time of this writing exact details were not