The Great Synagogue

2:30:00 AM Unknown 1 Comments

The Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.  It was built in 1859 to look more like a Christian Cathedral than a Jewish Synagogue in order to show the city's Catholic inhabitants just how integrated the Jewish community was. You can tour the synagogue on your own or with a guide for an fee.  We chose to got it alone with our Rick Steves' Guidebook. 
The Details
Address1074 Budapest, Dohány St 2
Metro: M2 Astoria Station, Tram 47, 49
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 10am-5:30pm, Friday 10am-3:30pm, closed Saturday
Cost: about $8.50
Tip: Modest dress, men will be asked to wear a cap on their heads and arrive early or expect to wait in a long line.

The twin towers are not a common synagogue feature, this is the "cathedral" coming out.  Never the less, you can see the star of David is incorporated into the exterior quite a bit.

 Surprisingly enough, the Synagogue was not destroyed during WW2.  The Nazi's put telephone antennae  on top of the towers and made use of the rest of the building as well.
This chandelier hardly looks like it belongs, but I like it!  They are actually typical of theaters of the day.
The Ark of the Covenant is behind that white curtain and contained inside are 25 Torah scrolls that survived the war by being buried in the cemetery.

Hungary sided with Germany during WW2 however, they did not expel their Jews from the city.  It wasn't until Germany invaded and installed the Arrow Cross that Jews began to be deported to death camps, the surrounding Jewish Ghetto became a scene of atrocities.
 In this courtyard are mass graves.  As family members come forward they install grave markers.
 This is called the Tree of Life.  The leaves contain the names of people who died during the Holocaust.

Another memorial to victims.  The small stones are reminiscent of a desert burial where the body is covered by stones.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at these photos, I realize that architecture is a product of higher forces. And thanks to your text with the description I feel as if I am there.