The Great Synagogue, or Dohány Street Synagogue as it's also known, is one of the largest Jewish houses of worship in the world. This impressive Moorish building was built between 1854 and 1859, and is strongly connected to the city's memory of the Holocaust where Dohány Street roughly marked the entrance to the Jewish ghetto during World War II, making it a poignant feature of Budapest's historical landscape.
Today, this landmark remains an active place of worship with a few extra additions. The Synagogue complex includes the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives, and the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park - an area beside the Synagogue that pays tribute to almost 3,000 Jewish people who were buried here during this terrible period.
The building is stunning to look at as well as being really informative and interesting about the Jewish faith and its history, so it's a great place to add to your Budapest itinerary.
The main Synagogue- The interior of the main Synagogue was designed by architect Frigyes Feszi, and is a vast space decorated with beautiful geometric frescoes flecked with gold, colourful stained-glass windows, and an ornate Torah-ark forming the centre-piece. This is also one of the only synagogues to have a pipe organ, so make sure you look out for that too when you visit.
Heroes' Temple - This temple was added to the complex in 1931 and is actually linked to World War I this time, commemorating the 10,000 Hungarian Jewish soldiers who fought and died as heroes during the war. The decoration is much simpler in this part of the Synagogue and it's mainly used for smaller religious services, but it's no less beautiful to visit.
The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives- This museum adjoins the Synagogue and was built in 1930 to blend seamlessly with the building's architectural style. Inside it feels decidedly modern, and there are loads of Jewish relics on display as well as an informative Holocaust room. Definitely spend some time looking round the museum on your visit to the Synagogue.
The Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park - Located in the rear courtyard of the Synagogue, this memory park pays homage to the thousands of Hungarian Jews that were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. As well as being the burial place of around 2,600 people, the park is home to Imre Varga's powerful statue which acts as a tribute to those who died. The structure resembles a weeping willow, with each metal leaf inscribed with the name of a victim; a moving and beautiful addition to the Synagogue.
March 1st to April 27th
April 29th to September 30th
October 1st to October 26th
October 28th to February 28th
Throughout the Year
Guided tour including the Synagogue, Museum, the Heroes' Temple, the Memorial Park, the Lapidarium, and the graveyard
Dohány u. 2