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Dohany Street Synagogue

by danize.com@gmail.com

The Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It is located in Budapest, Hungary, and it is a center of Neolog Judaism, a branch of Judaism that adopted some reforms in the 19th century. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, inspired by Islamic architecture from North Africa and Spain. The synagogue can seat up to 2,964 people and has a magnificent organ that is often used for concerts. The synagogue was damaged during World War II and restored in the 1990s.

The synagogue complex also includes the Heroes’ Temple, the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Jewish Cemetery. The Heroes’ Temple was built in 1931 to commemorate the Jewish soldiers who died in World War I. The Jewish Museum was built on the site of the birthplace of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism. The Holocaust Memorial is a metal weeping willow tree with the names of Hungarian Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The Jewish Cemetery contains the graves of over 2,000 Jews who died in the Budapest Ghetto during World War II.

To visit the Dohány Street Synagogue, you need to buy a ticket that includes access to all the attractions in the complex. The ticket prices vary depending on the season and the type of tour you choose. You can buy tickets online or at the entrance. The opening hours are also different depending on the season and the day of the week. You can check the official website for more information: https://www.dohany-zsinagoga.hu/.

The Dohány Street Synagogue is located in the 7th district of Budapest, close to many other attractions and public transport options. You can get there by metro (line M2), tram (lines 47 and 49), or bus (lines 7, 8E, 9, 107E, 108E, 110, 112, 133E). You can also walk from other nearby landmarks such as the Hungarian National Museum or St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Some tips for visiting the Dohány Street Synagogue are:

  • Dress modestly and cover your head. Men are required to wear a kippah (skullcap) and women are required to cover their shoulders and knees. You can borrow a kippah or a shawl at the entrance if you don’t have your own.
  • Respect the silence and avoid using flash photography inside the synagogue.
  • Be aware of the security checks at the entrance and follow the instructions of the staff.
  • Plan your visit ahead and book your tickets online to avoid queues and save money.
  • Learn about the history and culture of Hungarian Jews before or after your visit by exploring the museum and reading the information panels.
  • Enjoy the beauty and atmosphere of this unique place.

One of the things you can see inside the Dohány Street Synagogue is a list of statues of Hungarian kings and national leaders that are displayed on the walls of the main hall. These statues represent some of the most important figures in Hungarian history who supported or protected the Jewish community. Some of them are:

  • King Stephen I (1000-1038), who was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church and is considered the founder of Hungary.
  • King Andrew II (1205-1235), who issued a charter granting privileges and rights to Jews in Hungary.
  • King Béla IV (1235-1270), who rebuilt Hungary after the Mongol invasion and welcomed Jewish refugees from other countries.
  • King Louis I (1342-1382), who expanded Hungary’s territory and promoted trade and culture.
  • King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490), who was a patron of arts and sciences and employed many Jews as advisors, diplomats, and financiers.
  • Queen Isabella Jagiellon (1539-1559), who defended Hungary against Ottoman invasion and granted religious freedom to Jews.
  • Prince Gabriel Bethlen (1580-1629), who was a Transylvanian ruler and an ally of Hungary against Habsburg domination. He supported Jewish education and commerce.
  • Prince Francis II Rákóczi (1676-1735), who led an uprising against Habsburg rule and granted civil rights to Jews.
  • Count István Széchenyi (1791-1860), who was a reformer and a founder of modern Hungary. He advocated for Jewish emancipation and integration.
  • Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894), who was a leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 against Habsburg oppression. He supported Jewish equality and nationalism.

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