Name: Great synagogue in Dohány street
Category: Religious buildings
Location: 1077 Budapest, Dohány utca 2.
The largest synagogue in Europe was built between 1854 and 1859 following plans by Ludwig Förster. With Byzantine-Moorish inspiration, it is a beautiful building made of coloured brick, topped with two towers with onion-shaped domes. On the inside, look out for the two floors of galleries in wood, the two chandeliers, the wealth of the decoration on the ribbed ceiling and the arch of alliance to which your stare settles as soon as you come in through the door.
Good to know about the Great Synagogue
- The Great Synagogue of Budapest is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world (after New York); it can hold 3000 people
- It was built between 1854 and 1859 in Moorish style but it also features a mix of Byzantine, Romantic and Gothic elements. It has a suitably lavish interior
- Its style and form, especially the onion domes of the twin towers, much influenced synagogues’ design internationally
- The complex also includes the Hungarian Jewish Museum, a graveyard, and a Holocaust Monument, a metallic weeping willow with the names of those died in the Holocaust
- The Jewish Museum, opened in 1931, stands on the site of the birth house of Tivadar Herzl, father of modern Zionism and mastermind of the independent Jewish State
- In World War II, it was the center part of the Jewish ghetto. It suffered severe damages in the period, especially in the siege of Budapest
- During Communism the ruined building became a praying place for the remainding Jewish populaton. The synagogue was reconstructed between 1991 and 1998
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