Dohány utcai zsinagóga

The dohány street synagogue

The Dohány Street synagogue is one of Budapest’s touristic highlights as it is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. The synagogue was built in 1859 in the Moorish style and it can seat 3000 people. Its huge size demonstrates the significance and the high economic and cultural standards of the Budapest Jewry of the age.

The temple was designed by Ludwig Förster (1797-1863), a German architect, professor of the Vienna Academy. The clerk of works was the architect Ignác Wechselmann (1828-1903) who later bequeathed his entire wealth to the Institute of the Blind. After Förster left, Frigyes Feszl, the famous architect of the Budapest Vigadó designed the temple’s inner sanctum. The official consecration of the synagogue took place on 6 September 1859.

The interior of the synagogue is 1200 square metres, the towers are 44 metres high. There are 1497 seats for men downstairs and 1472 for women in the galleries, altogether the seating capacity of the flat-ceilinged inner space is nearly 3000 people.

The Synagogue is the temple of the Neolog Jewry. It was built in Budapest’s former Jewish quarter where many people of the Jewish faith still reside today.

The memory of the Holocaust is strongly connected to the old Jewish quarter where the Synagogue is situated. Dohány Street constituted the border to the ghetto during World War II. The area which was planned as a garden is the burial place of nearly 2600 Jewish people who perished during the Holocaust.

The Synagogue can be visited during weekdays. It is closed on Saturdays and for Jewish holidays.

The Synagogue is still predominantly a venue of worship but it also houses cultural programmes, such as concerts.