Standing tall for more than a century and a half, Hungary’s Dohány Street Synagogue holds a significant place in history. Constructed in the 1850s, its unique architectural blend of Moorish and European influences is striking.
Housing almost 3,000 worshipers, it ranks as Europe’s largest synagogue and one of the world’s most substantial. Over the years, this grand structure has witnessed more than just religious gatherings. Renowned musicians, including Franz Liszt, have graced its stage with classical melodies, drawing crowds that pack every available space.
However, beneath the veneer of celebration lies a darker history. The synagogue endured bombings and Nazi occupation during World War II, with further damage inflicted during the Soviet Union’s reoccupation of the city.
Amidst these trials, it serves as a poignant reminder of the European Jewish experience. Within its walls, you’ll discover a Jewish museum, a cemetery, and a somber Holocaust memorial. These elements collectively preserve the story of not only the synagogue’s worshipers but also the broader European Jewish community, bearing witness to both the shadows of the past and the beacon of hope for the future.
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Top image: The Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, Budapest, Hungary. Source: Marcio / Adobe Stock.