Great Synagogue

The Great Jewish Synagogue in Budapest.

In Europe many cultures and beliefs are mixed, making this region one of the most interesting in the world. For example, in Hungary, there is the Great Synagogue of Budapest. This is the second largest synagogue in the West, and today we are going to see it.

Table of Contents

Tours in Budapest

What is the history of the Budapest Synagogue?

Jews have been part of Europe for many centuries, but throughout history they suffered persecution because of their traditions and beliefs, so many followers of the Jewish faith took refuge in neighborhoods where the majority of its inhabitants were from the same religion.


However, this did not prevent Jewish citizens from all over Europe from prospering in their trades and businesses, as well as building magnificent synagogues, some of which are true masterpieces of architecture.


One of the most notable is the Great Synagogue of Budapest, built between 1854 and 1859. The building has a notorious Moorish inspiration, influenced by the Arab architecture of southern Spain.

In its beginnings, the synagogue gathered almost all the Jews of Budapest, since its interior space is so extensive that it can receive more than a thousand people.


Today, the Great Synagogue is an icon of the Hungarian capital, as well as being a very important place, both for its religious and historical and cultural value, for the local Jewish community.

How is the Great Synagogue of Budapest

The Great Synagogue of Budapest during the 20th century

Although it was built in the middle of the 19th century, the synagogue would experience its most important moments during the next hundred years.


From this period, it is impossible not to mention the Second World War, a warlike conflict that profoundly marked the identity of European Jews. At that time, Hungary was an ally of Germany, and many Hungarians fell victim to Nazi policies.


Unsurprisingly, the Great Synagogue of Budapest did not emerge unscathed from this battle, as it was closed by the authorities, used as a radio station by the German army and even as a stable.


Likewise, as it was part of the Jewish Ghetto in Budapest, it had to act as a cemetery and makeshift shelter. In addition, the bombardments deeply damaged its structure.


Later, during the years of Soviet control, the fate of the synagogue was no better. The temple was in ruins, and the Hungarian communist government administration did little to restore it.


Finally, the Great Synagogue in Budapest was restored after Hungary ceased to be a country dominated by the Soviet Union.

Budapest tourist attractions

Why visit the Budapest Synagogue?

If you are visiting the Hungarian capital and you want to see a building as impressive as it is legendary, then you cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Great Synagogue of Budapest.


In it are the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Memorial, the Tree of Life, the Temple of the Heroes and the Jewish Cemetery, which is a rarity because they are always located far from the synagogues.


Likewise, you can take a tour of its interior spaces, which are exquisitely decorated and wonderfully illuminated.


Visiting days and hours vary according to the time of year. The guided tour costs money but will take you through the most memorable corners of the Great Synagogue in Budapest.

How to get

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