Dohány Street Synagogue
Sunday, April 30
We are currently spending two weeks in Budapest and our apartment is in the Jewish Quarter. At the heart of the neighborhood is the Dohany Street Synagogue – the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world.
While we had often walked past the outside of the synagogue during the week, we only had time for a proper tour on Sunday.
Non-Jewish visitors to the synagogue can spontaneously buy a ticket at the entrance for around 20 euros. With this admission ticket, visitors can either walk around independently in the premises and on the grounds, or join one of the guided tours, which are included in the ticket price and are held in different languages.
We took a guided tour that started in the main hall of the synagogue. Each man who enters this main chapel is presented with a cardboard kippah (traditional religious head covering) and a hairpin for fastening. The chapel is a narrow, elongated room in which rows of wooden pews stand and draw the eye forward to the altar. There are many small windows in the walls of the building. The colorful glass shows beautiful, simple geometric patterns, which are also taken up again in the paintings on the ceiling of the room.
Our tour went through the various buildings and courtyards of the synagogue and if the explanations of our guide were not enough, you could ask further questions at any time. After the tour, be sure to visit the exhibition included in the ticket price in the basement of the synagogue about the ghetto in Budapest during World War II.
Living in Budapest in the city’s Jewish Quarter, we also found it important to delve into the history of the neighborhood and learn about the synagogue, which we walked past several times each day. Overall, the visit to the synagogue and the museum was very impressive and absolutely recommendable.