Synagogue - Dohány Street Central Synagogue, Budapest

4.5 out of 5 stars 71 Reviews

1071 Budapest, Dohány utca 2.

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    Raoul Wallenberg Memory Park
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    Great Synagogue
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  • Tree of life
    Tree of life
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    THE TREE OF LIFE IN MEMORY PARK

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2014

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    We are still at the Great Synagogue, now making my way to the back where the Raoul Wallenberg Memory Park is located.
    Here, I found some interesting pieces, the stand-out being the "TREE OF LIFE."
    The Tree is a large metal sculpture, made from stainless steel and silver- It was really sparkling in the bright sunshine. It resembles a weeping willow, only on these leaves are the names and tattoo numbers of the dead. At the front of the Tree is a black double archway memorial with the words -
    "Is there a bigger pain than mine?"

    Visitors often place rocks by this memorial, a custom that is believed to have come from burying the dead underneath rocks to protect them from wildlife and the weather.

    At least 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Nazis.

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    MARTYR'S CEMETERY @ GREAT SYNAGOGUE

    by balhannah Updated Apr 2, 2014

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    After viewing the interior of the Great Synagogue, I then walked outside and under many arches on my way to view the "Tree of Life." It was through the arches that I noticed a tranquil area with lawn and old established trees.

    I was inquisitive, so I left the crowd and wandered in for a look.
    First, I should tell you about the Germans establishing a ghetto for the Jews in 1944, where tens of thousands of people were crowded together in inhumane conditions. Many people found refuge in the Great Synagogue, but thousands died during the winter of 1944/45, either frozen to death, died of sickness or starvation, or as a result of the brutality received from the Nazis. Thousands of corpses were found on the streets, many were unidentifiable bodies.

    Today, these unknown people are buried in the Synagogue's garden, which has become known as the Martyr’s cemetery.

    Where they lay at rest, the horrors of war have been left behind, as this is a very peaceful area for quiet reflection.

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    THE INTERIOR OF THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2014

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    This was one of the busiest sites I visited in Budapest. I entered and was gob-smacked, for before my eyes was a massive richly decorated oriental interior, complete with frescoes, ceiling decoration, many chandeliers, lamp-brackets, ornaments and a great pulpit and organ. WOW!

    The frescoes are coloured and golden geometric shapes, done by the famous Hungarian romantic architect - "Frigyes Feszl." Women and men in the congregation are separated - the Men have seats on the ground-floor, while women are seated on the first floor gallery. Altogether, 2840 seats are available for the church goers.

    The interior was amazing, so do allow some time to sit and take it all in!

    A MUST VISIT

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    THE EXTERIOR OF THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE

    by balhannah Written Apr 2, 2014

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    Budapest's Great Synagogue is one of the largest Synagogues in the world AND a sight you will not want to miss! This grand Jewish Temple also goes under the name of Dohány Synagogue.

    We first saw the Temple from a side street, at that time we didn't realize what it was! Straight away I liked the coloured brick work and Moorish features. We walked around and found the entrance way where a short queue of people were waiting to buy tickets.

    The Temple was built between 1854 and 1859 in several styles, probably Moorish is the main style, then Byzantine, Gothic, and Romantic architecture can be seen. Two 43.6 metre high towers add appeal to the Temple, so do the yellow and red bricks giving the building a striped appearance. At the entrance way, is a rose stained-glass window.

    Restoration of this lovely Temple took between 1991 to 1998 to complete.

    The Central Synagogue in Manhattan, New York City is a near-exact copy of the Dohány Street Synagogue.

    OPENING HOURS VARY, so please go to this link
    http://www.dohanystreetsynagogue.hu/
    We were lucky to have a look inside, as the Synagogue was being shut later for a very important funeral. Already, the streets around it were closed by Police.

    ADMISSON FEE - 1400 HUF

    Inside the synagogue you have to wear a small skullcap called kipah or yarmulke. You will be given one at the entrance.

    You can buy tickets online and tours are available.

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    Synagogue

    by shavy Written Aug 31, 2013
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    The Great Synagogue of Budapest is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world (after New York); it can hold 3000 people, the complex also includes the Hungarian Jewish Museum, a graveyard, and a Holocaust Monument, a metallic weeping willow with the names of those died in the Holocaust
    The temple's acoustics make it a popular venue for concerts if you would like to learn more about the synagogue take the guided tour
    The seats on the groundfloor are for men, while the upper gallery has seats for women
    Men have to cover their heads with a kippa. It is available to borrow

    Admire the impressive building form the outside, enter the synagogue and walk around enjoying the rich decoration

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    Jewish Museum

    by mindcrime Written Dec 16, 2012
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    After visiting the synagogue and the memorial park we visited the Jewish Museum that stands there since 1931 on a two-story house in neoclassical style.

    It houses numerous religious relics and ritual objects but we were a bit tired and just checked the Holocaust room where you can see many black and white photographs with shots taken during WWII when the area was a ghetto. As expected we felt depressed after our visit.

    For 2250Huf our ticket included entrance to the Great Synagogue the Jewish museum and the memorial gardens

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    Memorial Park

    by mindcrime Written Dec 16, 2012
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    Although Budapest still has a large jewish population I’ve read that before WWII there were more than 250,000 jews that were living here. About half of them lost their lives because of the Nazis. Dohaby street was the border of the jewish ghetto during WWII and many of them died from starvation and cold during WWII (especially on winter 1944-45).

    Just next to the synagogue there is cemetery with a small sign referring to it as garden of rememberance (pic 1).

    At the back side of the cemetery we visited the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park(The Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark ) which is dedicated to the thousands Hungarian jewish martyrs that lost their lives from the Nazis. The main monument is a weeping willow tree (pic 2) that was made by Imre Varga in 1989, go closer and you will notice inscriptions with names on the leaves! There are also some smaller monuments, plagues with names etc
    By the way Raoul Wallenberg was from Sweden but was working in Budapest during WWII and managed to save thousands of jews.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Dohany Synagogue

    by mindcrime Written Dec 16, 2012
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    The Great Synagogue of Budapest(Nagy Zsinagóga ) is the largest in Europe! It was completed in 1859 in Moorish revival style and it’s 75meters long and 27meters wide, big enough to house 3000 seats (1492 on ground floor while the balconies can house 1472 women). It’s located in the city center of Budapest and Dohaby street was the border of the jewish ghetto during WWII.

    The synagogue looks impressive from outside with 2 onion-shaped domes on the top of the towers that mark the façade along with the rose stained-glass window over the main gate. There is a metal detector for security reasons which makes you wonder why some people still put the jew on the target. Anyway, we got on the inner yeard and walked toward the main entrance. When we got inside we realized the size of this synagogue but also how beautiful it is full of brown, cream, purple and golden colored geometric shapes and impressive chandeliers. There were small groups of tourists here and there with guides giving information in every possible language. We took some pictures and got out to visit the graveyard and the memorial park.

    There are lots of guided tours organized by the jewish community in many different languages but I preferred to pay only the normal entrance fee which was 2250huf for synagogue/museum/memorial gardens. Then I noticed lots of small groups inside and I could hear the information anyway!

    Tour for Dohaby synagogue+memorial park costs 2650Huf, for Dohany Synagogue+Park+Jewish museum 3000Huf, for Dohaby Synagogue+Rumbach synagogue+Memorial park 3650huf

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    Great Synagogue and Holocaust Memorial

    by Jefie Updated Nov 11, 2012

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    The Great Synagogue of Budapest, also known as the Dohany Street Synagogue, is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. Completed in 1859, it was built in a Moorish style and it seats close to 3,000 people. The ground floor, reserved for men, has 1,492 seats, while he balconies have room for 1,472 women. Important restoration work was conducted during the 1990s and chiefly funded by Hungrian Jewish immigrant Estée Lauder. There is a Jewish cemetery right next to the synagogue. Over 2,000 people are buried there, most of whom lived in the Jewish ghetto and died from hunger and cold during the Siege of Budapest that took place in the winter of 1944-1945. Also next to the synagogue is the Holocaust Memorial Park.The "Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs" takes on the form of a weeping willow with leaves bearing the names of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews killed during World War II.The memorial was partly funded by American actor Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz) , whose parents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants.Guided tours of the synagogue are available in different languages everyday except Saturdays.

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    Dohany Synagogue

    by hungariangirl896 Written Aug 26, 2012

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    The Dohany Synagogue is one of Budapest's most recognized buildings and is the largest synagogue in Europe. This is a Moorish style synagogue with a beautiful pink, purple, brown, and cream-colored interior. You can also visit the Jewish Museum, which contains many old relics (and some ancient), and the Holocaust Memorial, which remembers 600,000 Jews. It's located in what used to be the old ghetto, where some of Budapest's oldest buildings are. If you walk around the Dohany Synagogue, you can find the Rumbach Synagogue as well as some Jewish stores and Kosher restaurants. I recommend a visit here if you are interested in Budapest's Jewish history and want to see the synagogue's beautiful interior.

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  • Jewish Heritage Walking Tours in Budapest

    by Zoe27 Written Aug 25, 2012

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    One of the most interesting, but sometimes overlooked sights of the Hungarian capital is the old Jewish Quarter. It was established at the turn of the 19th century when the community gathered in the 7th District along the road leading to the bridge. The center of this area became Király Street. In 1944 the Pest Ghetto was also built here crowding 70.000 people together.

    In 2002 this historic neighborhood bordered by Király and Csányi Street, Klauzál Square, Kisdiófa and Dohány Street and Károly Boulevard was named the old Jewish Quarter of Pest and entered into the World Heritage Conservation Zone.

    This area is home to most of the city's Jewish cultural heritage sites, including the famous „Synagogue Triangle.”

    At Dohány Street 2. you will find the world's second largest and Europe's largest synagogue, the Dohány Street Synagogue. The site of this building is also the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, Father of Zionism. In the garden is the Martyrs' Cemetery and the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial.

    The second point of the Triangle is the synagogue on Rumbach Street, also known as „the little synagogue.”

    The third point the Kazinczy Street Orthodox Synagogue. This area is home to kosher shops and Budapest's only mikveh (ritual bath).

    This historic district, as a part of the city's rehabilitation strategy, started to to look towards youth culture and tourism in recent years: from 2002 some now very popular cafes, bars and summer music venues opened in buildings that were earlier considered for demolition: the Szimpla-garden, the Gozsdu Courtyard, or the Kőleves (Stone Soup) -garden to name a few. Since then the area, especially Kazinczy Street is not only known for its rich cultural heritage, but for it's unique "ruin pubs," art and design shops and nightlife.

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    Dohany Synagogue

    by yvgr Updated Apr 3, 2012

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    Inside the Dohany Synagogue
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    We visited the Synagogue on Dohany Street in November 2007. The synagogue is the largest one in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It has room for 3000 seats which reveal how big the Jewish community was in Hungary before WW2 and before the Nazi destruction of the Jewish communites in Europe.

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    The Great Synagogue

    by edvin_br Updated Oct 7, 2011

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    Budapests Synagogue is one of the most amazing once in the world and the largest in Europe. It was built in Romantic style and inaugurated in 1859 according to plans of Ludwig Foerster, in the days before the WWII about 250,000 jews lived in Budapest. It looks amazing both from outside as it was the first in Hungar to incorporate towers and in the Iinterio you can notice its rich walls, gallries, ceiling and of course the Holy Ark that stands in the eastern part of the synagogue, at the direction to Jerusalem.
    In the courtyard there is a monuent to the jews the died in the Holocaust, it was built in 1991.
    Today you can find the building in the central Dohany street, (that by the way means smoking in Hungarian...) a place with many cafes and tourists .

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    Central Pest: Great Synagogue

    by antistar Updated Jul 3, 2011

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    Budapest once had a thriving Jewish population, one of the biggest in the world. The Holocaust took its toll, and as many as 40% of the quarter of a million Jews in the city lost their lives to the Nazis or Hungarian Arrow Cross. Today Budapest, in spite of everything, is still home to one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe.

    The biggest Jewish population in Europe is served by the biggest synagogue in Europe. With the capacity to host 3,000 prayers, it is even, according to the New York Times, the second biggest in the world. It was built in 1859 in the style of Moorish synagogues in North Africa and Spain and has survived bombings by the Arrow Cross Party (deliberate) and Allies (accidental) to become of one Budapest's most impressive sights.

    Entry to the synagogue can be quite complicated. First there is a metal detector, a tragic reminder that even today Jews have been targeted by bombs in Budapest. Secondly you have a choice of tours that is not all that clearly marked.

    Basically it goes like this:

    * If you want a guided tour, buy a ticket from the kiosk outside the metal guard rails, then follow the instructions you are given.
    * If you don't want a guided tour, then enter directly through the metal detector, and buy a ticket from the kiosk on the right of the synagogue before entering. You'll be directed here if you forget and try to enter without paying.
    * If you don't want to spend any money, you can just walk through the metal detector and wander the grounds of the synagogue for free.

    Note: After writing this tip I moved into an apartment overlooking the Synagogue!

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  • Go to the Great Synagogue

    by Jetgirly Written Apr 1, 2011
    The Dohany Street Synagogue (Great Synagogue)

    The Dohany Street Synagogue is the second-largest synagogue in the world (after Temple Emanu-El in New York City). Seating three thousand people, the synagogue was built about one hundred and fifty years ago, with elements of both Romantic and Moorish architecture. Theodore Herzl was born in a house next to this synagogue, and today the land that once held his house now holds the Jewish Museum. There are other significant exterior structures such as the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park and the Jewish Cemetery. Inside, there is a five-thousand pipe organ and frescoes painted by Frigyes Feszl. Interestingly, in the 1990s the synagogue underwent a major restoration- funded mainly by Estee Lauder herself! Think about that next time you're spraying on that Youth Dew!

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