Jewish Budapest-Synagogues, Heritage Tours, Sights, History

Posted By on June 8, 2018

Tours, Sights, History, Events in the Old Jewish DistrictThe Dohany Street Synagogue

The Jewish Quarter of Budapest (district VII.) is packed with historic and religious sights including:

Quick Links: Heritage Tours Jewish Sights in Buda and buda Sights in Pest Restaurants & Cafes in the Jewish Quarter Jewish Events, Programs

The Jews played an important role in the history of Pest, Buda, and buda (Old Buda), and after the unification of the previous three, in Budapests development.

Despite their persecution and the terror of the 20th century, we can still find many monuments of the once thriving Jewish Budapest.

The former Jewish Quarter in district VII. has a quaint atmosphere with

More and more unique cafes and bars (some of the famous ruin bars /romkocsma in Hungarian) are located in the Quarter:

Take your time to absorb this sometimes quirky part of the Hungarian capital!

These two Jewish heritage tours led by a professional guide in English show you the history and the most beautiful monuments of the historic Jewish district of the Pest side.

Note: There are no tours onSaturdays and Jewish holidays:

After payment youll automatically receive an E-Ticket.

Both tours cover the monuments and history of the Pest side.

The first Jewish settlers arrived on the Castle Hill of Buda from Western Europe in the 1050s in the areas of todays Vzivros (distr. I.) and buda (distr. III.).

By the 1200s Jews were in the most important economic positions in Buda.

This was a sore in many peoples eye so the representatives of the Catholic Church had persuaded King Andrs II. to include in the Aranybulla (Golden Bull -special decree issued in 1222) that Jews were not allowed to fill in such positions.

Fortunately the fate of Budas Jewish community turned for the better during the reign of King Bla IV.

He invited merchants from Germany to make up for the loss of population caused by the Mongol invasion (1241-42). They paid substantial tax to the king too.

Budas Jewish quarter was on the western side of todays Szt. Gyrgy Square which were pulled down during the construction of the first Royal Palace.

Part of the historic settlement had been restored but cant be visited due to reasons unknown.

Remains of the synagogue were excavated in 1964 part of which operates as a museum exhibiting Jewish relics and gravestones (opening hours: from 1st May till 31st October: Tue-Sun: 10.00-17.00, tickets: full price: 800 HUF, students, pensioners: 400 HUF.).

The renovated labyrinthine cellar system that can be visited as of recently includes a small, 2-3 sqm ritual bath, the mikveh.

The 11th-century ruins can only be visited on a tour organised by Bupap that organizes tours for locals (guiding is in Hungarian).

The street level was 5 meters lower than today and the system includes a.

The Kpes krnika mentions that there stood a synagogue and a mikveh at the Fehrvri gate in medieval times.

The Small Synagogue and the Medieval Jewish Prayer house at 26. Tncsics utca remind us of the everyday life of the Castle Districts Jewish community.

During the 150-year Turkish reign the Jewish community of Buda vanished almost entirely.

In the 17th century German and Czech Jewish settlers established homes in buda.

Buda and Pest didnt permit settlement of Jews until the end of the 18th century.

Under the patronage of the noble Zichy family the Jewish colony of buda developed into a prominent community.

In the 19th century the Reform Movement fought for giving equal rights to Jews too.

As a result of the movements efforts, Jews were free to settle down anywhere in Hungary including Pest and Buda. The Synagogue in buda (Lajos utca 163., III. district) was built in 1820-21 in Classicist style.

Today it houses a TV studio.

Moses Muncz (1750-1831) was the rabbi of the community at that time whose grave you can see in the beautiful Jewish cemetery in buda (Kls Bcsi t 369., III. district).

The memorial stone on the former buda brick factorys site marks the spot from where thousands of Jews were deported and sent to death under the terror of the Arrow Cross Party in 1944-45.

A nice garden surrounds the building of the secular Jewish Lauder Javne School (Budakeszi t 48. XII. district, bus No. 22. from Szll Klmn tr) built in 1996.

While youre there, take a look at the building of the old Jewish kindergarden next to the school.

Synagogues Tree of Life/Raoul Wallenberg Park Martyrs Cemetery Heroes Temple Goldmark Hall Jewish Museum & Archives Carl Lutz Memorial Sztehlo Gbor Memorial/Dek Square Raoul Wallenberg Memorial/Erzsbet Square Shoes on the Danube Holocaust Memorial Center

In the 19th century Pest became the center of Jewish Budapest.

Their religion, holidays and unique traditions made them form a community.

A Jewish quarter started to develop in

Three synagogues were built in the quarter: the most impressive of them is the Great Synagogue in Dohny Street built in 1859 in Moorish-Byzantine style.

Address: Dohny utca 2., district VII.

Winter (till 28. February 2018)

Spring & Autumn (01. March 27. April and 01. October 26. October)

Summer (29. April 30. September)

The synagogue is also closed on major Jewish holidays.

The two-towered temple can occupy 6000 people.

It is a neolog synagogue meaning that the men and women sit in separate areas within the church. The service is in Hebrew, and the 5000-pipe organ provides music.

Location: in the inner courtyard of the Great synagogue

Visiting the park:

You can visit itonly with a ticket to the Synagogue/Museum. The Tree of Life monument is visible from the street through the fence.

The silver metal weeping willow tree, the Tree of Life, stands in the Raoul Wallenberg Park.

It received its name after the Swedish diplomat who helped many Jews to escaping deportation in 1944-45.

The Tree stands in the garden of the synagogue and the Jewish Museum.

Its a very moving and sad monument created by Imre Varga in 1991 with the support of the Emmanuel Foundation (founded by Tony Curtis actor).

Names of the victims disappeared or died during the Nazi terror are engraved on almost each of the 30,000 leaves.

Monuments commemorate the names of other heroes like Giorgio Perlasca and Per Anger.

Location: in the courtyard of the Great Synagogue

Not far from the plaque stands the small Garden of Remembrance where those who died in the ghetto were buried during 1944-45.

Their names are engraved in the stone gravestones.

According to Jewish customs cemeteries are not supposed to be placed next to synagogues, but this one in the garden of the synagogue, overlooking Wesselnyi Street, was created out of necessity during WW II.

Until the 2nd half of 1944 Budapest was reluctant to cooperate with the Nazis to collect and sent Hungarian Jews into concentration camps, though the Hungarian government (lead by Mikls Horthy) stood on the side of the Germans.

Adolf Eichmann arrived in the Hungarian capital in December 1944 to carry out the deportation and execution of Hungarian Jews and Roma people.

A ghetto was established between Kirly utca and Dohny utca.

Because of the cold and the state of war the people in the ghetto werent able to carry their dead to the cemetery and bury them properly so thousands of corpses were left at the walls of the synagogue for 40 days.

During the liberation of the ghetto on 18. January, 1945 thousands of unburied dead victims lay on the streets. 1140 known and 1170 unknown martyrs were buried in 24 common graves in the courtyard of the central synagogue. The Dohny Street Synagogue is the only synagogue in the world that has a cemetery in its garden.

Address: Dohny utca 2., district VII., next to the Great Synagogue, M2 (red) metro Astoria station, bus 7, tram 49 Astoria stop

Tickets (includes visiting the synagogue, without guiding):

TIP: The Jewish Museum of Budapest on the left of the Great Synagogue has a collection of religious relics, historical documents, along with temporary exhibits. An arcade connects the museum with the modern-style Heroes Temple.

It can seat 186 people and is used for weekday worship services.

The Heroes Synagogue commemorates the 10 000 Hungarian Jewish soldier who gave their life for their country in the 1st World War.

A huge Star of David formed of Hebrew text adorns the entrance.

In winter the Friday evening and Saturday morning services are held here instead of the Great Synagogue.

Address: Sp utca 12. Wesselnyi utca 7., district VII., entrance from Wesselnyi Str.Opening hours: Mon-Tue-Wed: 10.00-16.00, Thurs: 12.00-16.00, Fri: 10.00-14.00 tel: (+36 1) 413 5547

After the Raoul Wallenberg Park and the Heroes Cemetery youll find a 3-storey building which houses the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ) and is the centre of Budapests Jewish Community.

The 12 reliefs on the facade symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel with their names in Hebrew.

The building also gives home to the Goldmark Hall, a multifunctional cultural centre named after Kroly Goldmark world-renowned composer.

The Hungarian Jewish Archives has created a new permanent exhibition about Pests Jewish Quarter at the back of the room.

On the 1st floor youll find the Gykerek/Roots centre where databases and resources are available for those doing a family research.

At 10., Dob utca on a small square youll find the Carl Lutz Memorial standing against a white wall on a tiny plaza.

Lutz (1895-1975) as a Swiss diplomat had great connections with the Germans and Palestine thus he was able to help many Jews to flee from the terror.

The quote from the Talmud engraved on the metal plaque next to the monument says: He who saves but one man is as if he had saved the whole world

From Dob utca turn left on Rumbach utca where another striking Synagogue stands completed in 1872.

Walk along Rumbach utca then turn right into Kirly utca, walk until you reach Kazinczy utca on your right. There stands the synagogue of Budapests Orthodox Jewish community.

Read more on Kazinczy Street.

Address: Kazinczy utca 29-31., district VII.

Tickets: 1 000 HUF

The huge, Art-Nouveau synagogue is unmissable in the narrow Kazinczy Street.

It functions as the house of worship and teaching centre of Budapests Jewish communitys orthodox branch.

Bla Lffler and Sndor Lffler, disciples of Bla Lajta, designed the temple that was built between 1910-1913.

Besides the synagogue, the complex includes

From Kazincy Street turn right into Dob utca.

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Jewish Budapest-Synagogues, Heritage Tours, Sights, History

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