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

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dane Benton (2 years ago)
As a Jew, I've seen my fair share of synagogues. However, this is definitely the most unique and impressive I have ever seen. Jaw-dropping once you are inside, and the Holocaust memorials are tasteful and beautiful. The price tag is a bit steep, but the tour is pretty comprehensive and you learn a lot.
raghav chawla (2 years ago)
A beautiful and preserved monument of faith, open to people from all across the world, it's a great example of architecture, design, colour and style. It's one of the biggest synagogues in Europe, very close to the very of Budapest. The tickets are not expensive, the guided tours are in many different languages.
Mark Lynch (2 years ago)
An inspiring and thought provoking guided tour of the synagogue and the Holocaust Memorial. An important exhibit of the Holocaust in located in the basement of the synagogue. It will take 45-60 minutes to read through it, but well worth the time. After the tour, visit the Jewish Museum. All is included in the price of the entry ticket.
Barbara Harper (3 years ago)
Very moving hour at the Dohány Street Synagogue. The silver leaves on the tree are the names of people from Budapest who perished during the Holocaust. You get a better idea the further back you stand. The tour of the inside of the Synagogue was amazing. And I shared time with a woman from Boston and we found we had Jewish geography in common. Love when that happens.
Elena K (3 years ago)
Was absolutely incredible! One of the most beautiful synagogues I’ve ever been to. Definitely worth the 4,000 entrance fee. I would recommend listening in on the free guided tour inside it really makes the experience. They have free tours for many different languages. The tour guide for English speakers was incredible! Tour lasts about 20-30 minutes.
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