Did you know that Haifa has urban gardens and parks other than the famous Baha’i Gardens? The city’s location – on the slopes of Mount Carmel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea – is an attractive site for green and quiet spaces that make perfect retreats from the stress of urban life.
Suppose that most tourists flock to Baha’i Gardens. It’s the perfect chance for you to discover some of Haifa’s hidden gems. Have you heard of the Sculptures Garden before? Have you been there?
The Sculptures Garden is also known as Ursula Malbin’s Sculpture Garden and its names in Hebrew: Gan Hapsalim and Mitzpor HaShalom (“Vista of Peace”). It is not too far from the imposing Baha’i Shrine and Baha’i Gardens.
Who is Ursula Malbin?
The Sculptures Garden is a small but charming and relaxing garden where 29 life-size bronze statues are installed, mostly depicting youngsters and animals. Sculptor Ursula Malbin created these works in over 60 of her 105 years of existence.
The artist was born on April 12 ,1917, in Berlin, Germany, to Jewish parents, who were both doctors. Malbin herself trained to become a cabinet-maker. She was also a member of a Zionist group in Berlin. In 1939, after Malbin’s family had already left a few weeks before World War II broke out, she fled Nazi Germany.
She was in Geneva, Switzerland when the war broke out. It was where she met her future husband, sculptor Henri Paquet. Since the mid-1960s, Malbin has split her creative life and career between the village of Tronex near Geneva and the Artists’ Village in the town of Ein Hod, Haifa District, Israel.
Critique of Malbin’s work
According to Ein Hod Artist’s Village website, Malbin’s work is exceptional for its simplicity, in its “fragile yet graceful depiction of the human form.” Her sculptures depict the celebration of life despite its unwelcome or unpleasant changes.
Malbin works without models, instead relying on her imagination for the pure, sculptured indication of her outlook in life.
Over the years, Malbin’s works have found their way into many areas – parks, hospitals, schools, gardens, as well as private collections across Europe and North America.
About Sculptures Garden
The Sculptures Garden opened to the public in 1978. It consists of 29 beautiful life-size bronze sculptures that were all created and donated by Malbin. Most of these sculptures depict children and teenagers playing with balls, hoops, and animals. A significant number of statues are nude, which once even prompted Orthodox Jews to make the unusual request to have them dressed.
You can contemplate one of these sculptures from a bench on the path winding through this little gem of a garden.
This charming park is small, and being a hidden gem, it doesn’t receive many visitors, which is good because you can actually do things without getting too distracted. The children will enjoy walking around the park and playing with the sculptures. You can have a picnic there or just relax. Selfie lovers will have a great time at this park, too.
However small the Sculptures Garden is, one of the best things about it is the sweeping vistas of the Haifa Bay and beyond. It is often breezy there. The verdant lawns and trees are set on a backdrop of stunning city views. This small park has two entryways, making walking up or down the garden a lot easier.
The Sculptures Garden makes a nice side trip after visiting the more famous Baha’i Gardens, which is only about a five-minute walk from there. And best of all, it’s free, so anyone can visit it.
You can easily include Sculptures Garden in your Haifa travel itinerary.
Check out other top parks and nature attractions in and around Haifa.
Sculptures Garden – general information
Shnayim Be’November 2 corner Sderot Hatsiyonut 112
(November 2 corner Zionism Boulevard 112)
Monday to Sunday – Open 24 hours
How to get there:
The Sculptures Garden is about five minutes from the Baha’i Shrine and garden complex.
To get there, you can enter “Shnayim Be’November 2” or “Sderot Hatsinoyut 138” into your navigation app.