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“Serenity on a Blustery Day”

Baha'i House of Worship
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Wilmette
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A special mix of quartz and white cement was developed for the intricate ornamentation on the nine-sided, domed structure.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Serenity on a Blustery Day”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

Enlightening introduction to Baha'i faith in a marvelous architectural sanctuary. This is one of only 7 Baha'i houses of worship in the world. Parking is limited.Care is to be taken in crossing busy Sheridan Road.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank QuebecoisFrancophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
60 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Open to Everyone”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

When I lived in the Chicago area, I did not know what this building was, and did not know everyone was welcome to visit. Now, as a Baha'i, I have been there many times, and it never fails to give me a sense of awe. Yes, it is open to everyone or every faith, or no faith. The architecture is unique and inspiring and contributes to the sense that this is a place for quiet contemplation. The gardens surrounding it are constantly being renewed and made more beautiful. And there will be a new visitors center open within the next year.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank claire1844
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
180 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Unique place of worship and contemplation”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Whether you are a Baha’i visiting this “Mother Temple of the West,” a follower of another religion who wants to learn something about the Baha’i Faith, someone who seeks a place to pray or meditate in quiet beauty, or a student of architecture and history, the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette will not disappoint. The main auditorium is a silent and airy. No sermons, no proselytizing, no donations – just a place to commune and observe (and, at certain times, listen to services featuring Holy Writings from all the world’s faiths with a cappella renderings of some texts. A new visitor center is under construction, but for now the downstairs area contains exhibits and a bookstore for those who wish to know more about the Baha’i Faith. Be sure to leave time to walk through the lovely gardens, too.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Phil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Worth a visit even for godless heathens like me”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

I am not a "person of faith." But I'm very interested in architecture and in structures whose design invites quiet contemplation. The Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette is stunning - an overused word, but appropriate here - and it's a welcoming place even for outsiders.

The main auditorium/sanctuary is compellingly elegant and mesmerizingly quiet. I found myself just wanting to stare up at the ceiling for a long time. You can sit quietly and contemplate the space, or stand in the back and do the same. Photos aren't allowed here, so you have to just imprint the look of the place on your memory. :)

The lower level houses an interesting visitors' center (and very nice/clean bathrooms). The visitors' center has a sort of self-guided guide to the history of the Baha'i faith and its tenets, displayed on the walls via narratives and pictures. There are also members of the Baha'i faith down there who can answer questions you may have about the building or their faith. I found them very friendly and not pushy.

Before I finally went in to visit, I had seen the Baha'i House of Worship a zillion times from an airplane flying into and out of ORD - it's an iconic part of the (suburban) Chicago skyline and you can't miss it; it doesn't look like any other building there. Now when I see it, I'll remember that it's just as interesting on the inside.

Visited March 2013
3 Thank thegreatlizby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
66 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

we live not far from this place and visit it quite often and always have a great time. it is incredibly quiet inside and the best place to meditate.
And beautiful small gardens outside to walk and look at the beauty around.

Visited April 2013
Thank Iryna I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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