Sunday, July 13, 2014

Synagogue in Budapest

The Synagogue in Budapest is an amazing building, and a very moving, powerful place to visit.  This is the exterior.  It is on the Pest side of the Danube, just a few blocks from the main tourist sights.
Also known as the Dohany Street Synagogue, it is the largest in Europe, seating 3,000 worshipers.  The architect usually designed churches, and the building is sometimes referred to as a Jewish Cathedral.  It was built in the 1850's.
The synagogue was renovated and restored not too long ago, and it is in spectacular condition.  American actor TOny Curtis was instrumental in donating and raising money for the restoration.
The architect believed that there was no decorative style characteristic of the Jewish faith, so he used a Moorish revival style because he thought an Arabic design was the closest style to use.
There is a museum to the Hungarian Holocaust attached to the synagogue and this sculpture of a weeping willow tree is in the courtyard.  Each leaf on this tree is engraved with the names of victims  of the Hungarian Holocaust.  What made the visit especially sorrowful is that the dates of death of most victims was very close to the end of the war.  The Nazis were in retreat on both the eastern and western fronts at that time.  Why couldn't they just restreat?  Why commit atrocities at any time, but especially why on the way out?  It is unfathomable.

2 comments:

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice images, but, as usual, I like the commentary even better.

Sharon Anck said...

Such a beautiful place. I can see how it would be very inspiring.

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