Great Synagogue on Dohány Street
The Great Synagogue on Budapest’s Dohány Street is one of the largest synagogues in the world, second only to the massive Emanu-El Temple in New York. It is a neolog or orthodox synagogue and has a healthy congregation, many living in the Jewish quarter that runs North west from this point. This street beside the entrance to the Great Synagogue was in fact one of the entrances to the Jewish Ghetto throughout the 2nd World War, and this whole area was bricked up and fenced off to keep the jews packed in squalor. Near the end of the war, the previously safe position of the Budapest Jews was revoked as the Nazis took over from the Hungarian puppet government and extermination began in earnest. Of course everyone has heard of the death camps and the atrocities in the work camps but the Jews here did not get off lightly. From here many were marched over to the banks of the Danube and shot into the river, often wired together and still alive.
What to see
There is a holocaust memorial covering several rooms (not to be confused with the Independent Holocaust Memorial centre in Páva St in the 9th District.) Outside you can note the numerous graves dating from WWII, as well as the unforgettable willow tree fashioned out of metal, each leaf bearing the name of a Jewish victim. Things to note inside, are the rose window, the huge pipe organ and the seating areas, planned separately for men and women.
Great Synagogue Info
Address: Dohány utca 2, Budapest 1074. Map ref: 47.495797, 19.060251
Opening hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-5:30pm (3:30 on Fridays)
Cost: Adults: 2850 HUF.
Find this on: Absolute Walking Tour, Evening stroll, (Segway tour, Bike tour and evening bike tour) also on Google StreetView