Dohány Street Synagogue

Budapest, Hungary

The Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism.

The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, with the decoration based chiefly on Islamic models from North Africa and medieval Spain (the Alhambra). The synagogue's Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster, believed that no distinctively Jewish architecture could be identified, and thus chose 'architectural forms that have been used by oriental ethnic groups that are related to the Israelite people, and in particular the Arabs'. The interior design is partly by Frigyes Feszl.

The Dohány Street Synagogue complex consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, the Memorial and the Jewish Museum, which was built on the site on which Theodore Herzl's house of birth stood. Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city center, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto.

The synagogue was bombed by the Hungarian pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party on 3 February 1939. Used as a base for German Radio and also as a stable during World War II, the building suffered some severe damage from aerial raids during the Nazi Occupation but especially during the Siege of Budapest. During the Communist era the damaged structure became again a prayer house for the much-diminished Jewish community. Its restoration started in 1991 and ended in 1998. The restoration was financed by the state and by private donations.

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Founded: 1854-1859
Category: Religious sites in Hungary

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lynette Burlison (10 months ago)
Visiting The Synagogue was such a moving experience. The Emmanuel tree is a beautiful tribute to the Hungarian Holocaust victims
Lisa Lahr (2 years ago)
Good historical site for both Jewish and non Jewish visitors. Remember security is tight for a reason. Film in the garden and memorial. Pay your quiet respect to Raoul Wallenberg, a man who sacrificed his life to save so many. A memorial to Sir Nicholas Winton is also there. The creator of the Kindertransport, a man who saved hundreds of children from certain death. Lessons in bravery like this never go out of style. The price of a ticket is about 5000 HUF, local currency. Please note: this is a site of a mass murder burial ground. There are images though historically accurate may cause distress.
Timea Vegh (2 years ago)
The most beautifully decorated Synagogue I have seen and that includes ones in Israel. The history of the place is a gruesome reminder of humanity's mistakes, never to be repeated.
Peter Dunn (2 years ago)
Gorgeous synagogue thanks apparently to the Lauder family since the Nazi's left it in disgraceful state. What is eerie though about this place is that the congregation is absent and we know why. It now hosts concerts in the summer (perhaps the whole year) and the Budapest Klezmer Band often appears here.
Andrzej Jaworski (2 years ago)
Beautiful but most expensive museum type place i have seen during my 5 days stay. In my opinion beauty is not worth the price, especially when most of stuff inside is already available on photos on google maps and as i said seeing it live not worth 5k HUF
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