Our Travel Blog
Today, we went to the House of Worship in Wilmette, in the northern suburb of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is the oldest surviving Bahá'í House of Worship in the world (the first one was erected in Ashgabat, now Turkmenistan but has been taken down in 1963, fifteen years after the major 1948 earthquake which rendered it unsafe). It was build by Louis Bourgeois, a Quebecker who studied architecture in Paris in the late 19th century. During His visit to the United States of America in 1912, Abdu'l-Bahá dedicated the site of the Wilmette House of Worship in an official ceremony but the actual construction of it began only in 1920. It was inaugurated on the first of May, 1953.
Like all Bahá'í Houses of Worship, it has 9 sides and a dome and welcomes followers of all religions.
During our visit we were blessed to be on time for the multi-religious prayers said at 12:30 PM which was a great moment to spend there ! The House is undergoing some renovations on the outside of the building which prevented us to go fully circumambulating around it. We were able to go downstairs in the basement where some offices of some committees work under the loving guidance and direction of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. We learnt some facts about the history of the persecutions of the Bahá'ís in Iran in an exhibition and also the history of this outstanding building.
We enjoyed the House of Worship in Langenheim, Germany, while we were visiting during the summerfest there in late June after we got married but definitely, this masterpiece of architecture in its detail and its beauty was really more impressive ! Please have a look at our picture gallery !
While on the spot, we decided to contact the Audiovisual Committee and to our surprise, we were welcomed inside of the "personnel only" area. There we met Craig, the AV manager, who offered some of his time to teach us about filming and making videos, many tips we hope we could work on when we'll get a camcorder !
After this, we went shopping, buying some bahá'í books in english and spanish in the book store, meeting with other people working there. We then headed out to the beautiful surrounding gardens to enjoy the end of the day before returning to downtown Chicago to catch our train back to Glen Ellyn. That's it for today ! As we don't have any feedback yet, could you please be kind to leave some comments ? Thanks :-)
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Sunday, October 8, 2006
Bahá'í House of Worship
Karen and Ivan at the Hourse of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois

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