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The Great Synagogue

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The Great Synagoguealso referred to as the Dohany Street Synagogue, and the Jewish Museum in Budapest makes for an excellent attraction when looking to explore religion and architecture in Budapest. This is the largest Synagogue in Eurasia and was completed in 1859. Christian Friedrich Ludwig Förster was the architect on the construction of the building and the influence of Asian and African influences can be seen in the styling he used. Though the original structure was badly damaged during World War II, restoration efforts that took place between 1991 and 1998 have brought the building to its current stature and it is quite an impressive landmark in Budapest's 7 th district.

The Jewish Museum is located on the site where Theodore Herzl's home once stood and the current building was completed in 1931. The Heroes Temple is also located here and is used for religious services. The temple serves as a tribute to Hungarian Jews who lost their lives during the First World War. Behind the Temple is the Jewish Cemetery which serves as a somber reminder of the tough times the Jews in Budapest faced During World War II. This area was the ghetto in which many Hungarian Jews lived during the Holocaust. In the courtyard there are over two thousand Jews buried who died from the cold and from hunger and this is a moving landmark to see firsthand.

Also located here is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park. This park is a memorial dedicated to the over 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered by the Nazi regime during World War II. The site serves as not only a memorial to those who lost their lives, but several notable figures in Europe who enabled many Jews to escape throughout Europe. The interior of the Synagogue is quite an impressive sight to take in and there is an impressive 5,000 pipe organ dating back to 1859 that is featured here.

This Synagogue is the epicenter for the Jewish faith in Budapest and is also a very important historical site to visit. To see the monuments, cemetery, museum and the Great Synagogue firsthand is quite an experience and this site draws thousands of visitors annually. The Synagogue itself seats nearly 3,000 people with the bottom floor being the place for men and the upper floor being set aside for women. Byzantine, Romantic and Gothic elements can be seen within the Synagogue and this is one of the great buildings for lovers of fine architecture.

When coming here you should remember that this is a holy place for the Jewish Community and not just another building to check off your itinerary. While this is not an attraction you want to miss, remember to be respectful and follow the customs of the Synagogue. The location of the Great Synagogue is not hard to find, located on Dohany Street and can easily be reached by public transport. Set aside a few hours to come and explore the location as there is much to see here.


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