The largest synagogue of Europe: the Great Synagogue in Budapest

The interior of the Great Synagogue

The interior of the Great Synagogue ©ParisSharing/Flick

The largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world is located in Budapest.

It was built in Romantic style between the years 1854 and 1859 with the cooperation of Frederick Feszl and based on the plans of Ludwig Förster.

The building has more than three thousand seats.

The Great Synagogue was revolutionary in several ways: tries to conform to the eastern styles, it is made by multicolored brick, the cast iron structure is showed in the interior.

 

The Great Synagogue in Budapest

The Great Synagogue in Budapest ©Groume/Flick

The history of the Great Synagogue in Budapest

The construction of the synagogue was delayed, so in was finally inaugurated in 1859, three years later than the originally scheduled date. During the Second World War there was the border of the Budapest ghetto. The Jewish Martyrs Monument made by sculptor Imre Varga is a reminder of this period. Next to the synagogue lies the the Jewish Museum.

Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs

Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs ©chad_k/Flick

The presentation of the Great Synagogue

The typical Romantic style blends with Byzantine-Moorish elements, providing a unique oriental style to the building. The Great Synagogue in Budapest is colorful building with two domes and ceramic decoration.

The Torah Ark is a richly elaborated and finely shaped work, crowned with a cupola, that has a monumental effect with its gold onaments and its dimension compared to the synagogue. The Torah Ark, the objects of the sanctuary, the two massive 12-branched candelabrum and the painting of the Great Synagogue in Budapest were made by Frederick Feszl.

The Torah Ark and the chandeliers

The Torah Ark and the chandeliers ©Old Fogey 1942/Flick

Visiting the synagogue

The synagogue and the additional buildings can be visited all year. There are four different tour options. You can visit the Great Synagogue and the Emanuel memorial tree in 50 minutes. If you want to see the Jewish Museum as well it is a 90 minutes tour including all three attractions. You can substitute the museum with the Rumbach Synagogue during a tour of 70 minutes or you can visit all four of these in a 110 minutes tour.

The wing with the Jewish Museum

The wing with the Jewish Museum ©teofilo/Flick

The guided tours are available in English, German, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish. During winter only English and Hebrew guide is guaranteed.

In 2013 the Great Synagogue is opened from Sunday to Thursday from 10.00 am to 18.00 pm in the period from the 1st of March until the 31st of October. On Friday it is opened from 10.00 am until 16.30 pm and it is closed on Saturday. The synagogue will also be closed on on September 5-6, 13-14, 19-20, 26-27, on October 23, on November 1 and on December 24-25. The ticket office is always closed with half an hour earlier.

The interior of the Great Synagogue

The interior of the Great Synagogue ©ParisSharing/Flick

 

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