The synagogue, built in the 1860s, is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world. It was bombed by the Hungarian fascists (the Arrow Cross Party) in 1939 and was then used as a stable and for German Radio during the war. Not until after the end of the Communist era could it be restored but work started in 1991, largely due to a very generous donation from the very wealthy Hungarian-American Estee Lauder, and by 1998 the synagogue was restored to its former glory.
Well worth visiting also is the walled area behind the synagogue. This area was part of the Jewish Ghetto, which was walled off in 1944 so that food and medicine couldn’t get in and humans couldn’t get out. Many thousands died there and 2,000 of these are buried in the courtyard. You can also visit the Jewish Museum, also part of the synagogue complex and built on the site of the house where Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, was born. And in the courtyard behind there is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, dedicated to the Swedish business man and diplomat who is celebrated worldwide for saving tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from both the Hungarian fascists and the German nazis. Famous Hungarian sculptor Imre Varga has created there a beautiful memorial in the form of a weeping willow with the names of some of the Jewish dead on the leaves.
The facade looks to Jerusalem and its made from ceramic, the footing is limestone and marble.
Above the main entrance is a quote from the Bible "vöászu li mikdás, vösáchánti bötochám", "and prepare a sanctuary for me, to be with them".Back to Stops
- Two cruise tickets,
- Vouchers for gulyás soup, a glass of beer
- Walking tours
- More than 20 other vouchers, entitling our guests to 20-60% discounts at our partner museums, restaurants, baths, the Budapest Zoo and other locations