The Great Synagogue of Budapest, in Hungarian Nagy zsinagóga, known also as the Tabakgasse Synagogue, is a very important historical building. It is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest synagogue in the world. It can seat 3.000 people and it is located in the Jewish Quarter of Pest. The complex consists of the Heroes’ Temple, the cemetery, the Memorial and the Jewish Museum. The Synagogue is located on Dohány avenue, which marks the border of the Budapest Ghetto.
Visit the Synagogue
The building consists of three decorated wide aisles, two balconies, and an organ. The original organ dates back to 1859; in 1996 a new mechanical organ was added. The wooden door is decorated with various Torah scrolls, which were taken from other synagogues destroyed during the Holocaust. The seats for men are located on the ground floor while the seats for women are located on the upper gallery.
Within the Great Synagogue of Budapest there is also a Museum built in 1930 in accordance to the building’s architectonical style. The museum hosts a Jewish historical and religious collection, a collection of relics, ritual objects of Shabbat and other festivities, as well as an Holocaust room.
The Heroes’ Temple can seat 250 people. It is used for religious services on weekdays and on winter months; it was added to the complex in 1931. It was designed by Lazlo Vágó and Ferenc Faragó as a memorial to the Hungarian Jews who passed away during World War I.
Adjacent to the Great Synagogue of Budapest there is a cemetery, an usual element for a place of worship. The Jewish community decided to maintain it after the dramatic events of World War II. The Budapest Jewish Ghetto served as a shelter for hundreds and hundreds of Jews. According to the Eichmann plan, in 1944 more than 70000 Jews were relocated to the Ghetto of Pest. Some of them died of starvation and hypothermia during the winter of 1944 and were buried in the courtyard of the Synagogue.
The last element belonging to the Great Synagogue of Budapest is the Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark Memorial, made by Imre Varga. It resembles a weeping willow whose leaves have the names of the victims of the Holocaust.
Entrance tickets for the Great Synagogue
To visit the Great Synagogue in Budapest you need to buy an entrance ticket: book your skip-the-line ticket or a guided tour online, which includes the entrance ticket.