Jewish Budapest

Hungary is a rather Jewish-friendly country, with several religious buildings and an important Jewish district in the center of the city. Here are a couple of images.

The Kazinczy Street Synagogue (Kazinczy utcai Zsinagóga), built in 1911, is an Orthodox synagogue.

But probably the most famous synagogue is the Dohány Street Synagogue (Dohány utcai Zsinagóga), built in 1859. It’s the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the entire world. The entrance was heavily guarded by armed police at the time of my visit… for a good reason, given the present international situation. Next to it is the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives (Magyar Zsidó Múzeum és Levéltár).

The Jews have a very strong sense of national identity, probably the strongest in the world. The same spirit is shared by the Hungarian people. Here is a banner with the faces of the people kidnapped by the Arabs in the Gaza Strip, following those savage attacks that eventually triggered a war. The Jews don’t forget and I doubt they forgive easily. Behind the banner is the wall of the Heroes’ Temple.

A detail from the garden of Dohány Synagogue, next to the Heroes’ Graveyard (Hősök sírkertje). It’s the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, known for its dramatic metal weeping-willow sculpture commemorating Hungarian Jews – the Emanuel Tree, on whose leaves the names of local Holocaust victims are inscribed. The entire place has a powerful vibe.