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Dohany street great synagogue

1. The Dohany street Synagogue and the Hungarian Jewish Museum are in the same building. The synagogue was named after the street, but it is also known as the great, or main synagogue. It is among the top 10 sights of Budapest.
2. This is the actual synagogue bulding. The wing with the arcades on the left (pic 1) houses the Jewish Museum, attached to the great synagogue later, in 1931.
3. The twin towers shine in their original glory after the restauration that took place in the late '90s.
4. The clocks on top of the Dohany Synagogue don't work.
5. The onion shaped domes with gilded ornament of the Dohany Synagogue are the main reason why it looks like an oriental, Moorish building. Having been the first synagogue made in this style, it was so successful, that synagogues built later around the world were often designed in the same style.
6. This is a roof photo, taken from the apartment block opposite the synagogue.
7. On top of synagogues we can see stone tablets with the commandements.
8. The special red brick pavement has been decorating the square in front of the Dohany synagogue since Andrassy avenue and its environs (7th district, Elisabethtown - the Jewish Quarter) became part of the World Heritage. Visitors passing by or entering the building are usually focusing on the building itself, never noticing the Menorah they are entering on.
9. The wing of the Hungarian Jewish Museum added to the Dohany synagogue building in 1931 has the same architectural design, however the facade hides two buildings.
10. The steps of the synagogue main entrance are always crowded with visitors.
11. Detail of the Dohany synagogue entrance with rich decoration carved into the stone gate.
12. Eight-pointed stars decorate the whole building of the Dohany street synagogue.
13. Small rose-windows.
14. Stone tablet-shaped windows.
15. Oriental-Byzantine decoration makes the Dohany synagogue so unique.
16. Due to the special Moorish influence, many think at first sight that the Dohany synagogue is in fact a mosque.
17. Oriental-Byzantine decoration, detail.
18. Oriental-Byzantine decoration, detail.
19. Above the main entrance gate of the Dohany synagogue the inscription in Hebrew: -And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them- (Exodus 25,8)
20. Arches.
21. Next to the entrance on a pillar the inscription in Hungarian: Monument -Constructed between 1854-59 according to the plans of Ludwig Förster-
22. Clock.
23. Rose window above the entrance of the Dohany temple.
24. Rose window, detail.
25. Rare rose window of the Dohany synagogue made of stainted glass.
26. Stainted glass window on the rear of the Dohany synagogue, detail.
27. Row of arcades leading from the Dohany synagogue to the Jewish Museum.
28. Column decoration.
29. A photo can not present the impressivness of the interior when one steps inside the temple. The galleries have a special role in this Neolog synagogue, they were meant to separate women from men. Nowadays however, ladies who attend the services sit downstairs, in the two side rows of the isle.
30. Interior, view of the massive chandeliers and the Ark.
31. Behind the Ark of the Dohany synagogue a huge organ is hidden. Occasionally the Dohany synagogue is home to excellent organ concerts, Franz Liszt himself played on the opening ceremony, nowadays Xaver Varnus can be heard sometimes.

Would you like to...

understand the Hungarian Jewish history?
know more about the everyday Jewish life of Budapest?
discover the synagogues in the Budapest Jewish Quarter?

If yes, then we suggest you participate in one of the Jewish Quarter guided tours we offer. The STANDARD and the EXTENDED tour begins with the Dohany street synagogue, then takes you out to the Budapest Jewish Quarter.

Can't travel to Budapest? Too bad. Take a 3D tour!

History of the Dohany Street Synagogue
The synagogue on the Dohany street of Pest is not only the most impressive one in the country, but it's the largest synagogue of Europe, the second largest one in the world. (The largest Jewish house of worship in the world is the Temple Emanu-El in New York).
The tours in the Jewish district of Budapest all have their departure point at the Dohany synagogue. This recently restored, magnificent, twin-towered building celebrated 150 years of existence in 2009. Let it take your breath away with its beautiful interior, see why it is among the top ten sights of Budapest.
The second largest synagogue of the world located in downtown Budapest had to be constructed on an asymmetric lot in order to place the Ark looking East. In a way it is hidden from our eyes if we arrive to the 7th district from Muzeum korut (where the National Museum is), however the talent of its designers is shown by the impressiveness of the building even if facing a small square and not the boulevard. Frigyes Feszl and Ludwig Förster created their masterpiece in the middle of a metropolis using the Oriental-Byzantine (Moorish) style influenced by Moslem architecture. The consecration of the synagogue was a major event on September 6, 1859. It can hold 3000 seated and approximately 2000 standing people. Major events took and take place here, like the celebrations part of the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest in May 1896, memorial services for important Hungarian personalities in the 19th century, liturgical, organ or Klezmer concerts nowadays. The Dohany Synagogue remained the most important religious centre of the Neolog Jews in Hungary to this day.

Neolog Judaism in Hungary
Neolog Judaism is a mild reform movement within Judaism, mainly in Hungarian-speaking regions of Europe, which began in the late 19th century. The reforms were comparable to the more traditional wing of U.S. Conservative Judaism. At the time of its founding, the Orthodox Jews in these regions were particularly rigid against all modern innovations, so even these modest reforms had led to sharp organizational separation. Communities that aligned with neither the Orthodox nor the Neologs were known as the Status quo.
In the 19th century, the Neolog Jews were located mainly in the cities and larger towns. They arose in the environment of the latter period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire generally good period for upwardly mobile Jews, especially those of modernizing inclinations. In the Hungarian portion of the Empire, most Jews (nearly all Neologs and even most of the Orthodox) adopted the Hungarian language, rather than Yiddish as their primary language and viewed themselves as "Hungarians of Jewish religion".
After the rise of Communism in post-World War II Hungary, the government forced Orthodox and Neolog organizations there into single organizational structure, albeit with a semi-autonomous Orthodox section. However, all three denominations (Orthodox, Neolog and Status Quo) have resumed their separate existences in the post-Communist period. (source Wikipedia: view here)

History of the Hungarian Jewish Museum
At Dohany street nr. 2. there used to be a two-story Classicist style house right next to the synagogue. Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of Zionism was born and raised there. The Jewish Museum was constructed on the plot where the house used to stand, adjoining the Dohany synagogue. The little square in front of the Dohany complex bears the name of Herzl. The Jewish Museum constructed between 1930-1931 has a very rich collection of religious relics of the Pest Hevrah Kaddishah, ritual objects of the Sabbath and the High Holidays, a Holocaust room, a historical exhibition and houses temporary exhibitions as well (some of the many: Chagall, Soutine, Modigliani etc.).

Getting there
Address: 1074 Budapest, Dohany utca 2.
- take subway M1 (yellow) / M2 (red) / M3 (blue) to Deák tér station, then walk on Károly körút towards Astoria.
- take subway M2, tram 47, 49 or bus 7, 78 to Astoria station, then walk on Károly körút towards Deák tér.
- the Dohany Synagogue is at walking distance from the downtown hotels and the famous pedestrian shopping street called Váci utca.

Opening hours of the Dohany Great Synagogue and Hungarian Jewish Museum:

2 November 2014 - 28 February 2015
Sunday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Saturday: closed

1 March 2015 - 31 October 2015
Sunday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: closed

1 March 2015 - 29 March 2015
Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

30 March 2015 - 31 October 2015
Friday: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The synagogues and Jewish Museum are CLOSED usually on the following days:
January: 1, 18th Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemoration in the Dohany Synagogue in the morning, opens for visitors around noon. March: 15. October 23. November: 1. December: 24, 25.

Please note: on the Jewish High Holidays and Saturdays the synagogues are not open for visitors (there are services). These information were published for information only, the exact opening and closing dates to be announced by the Jewish Community. For 2015 the days of closure in addition to the above mentioned dates were announced to be: April 3-5, 10, May 24, 25, September 13-15, 22, 23, 28, 29. October 5, 6. On the following days the synagogue is open only between 10-13:30: April 9, September 27, October 4. On July 5 the synagogue opens only at 11. During the days of the Jewish Summer Festival the Dohany street synagogue and the Jewish Museum of Budapest close earlier for preparations, at 15:30.

Tickets for the Dohany street synagogue and the Hungarian Jewish Museum


Admission: groups must purchase a guided tour. Groups can only be lead by the official guides of the Dohany synagogue.
A booking is needed 24 hours ahead of the visit.
Price from March 1, 2015 per person is 3500 Forints/person for adults, 2500 Forints/person for students, payable in Hungarian cash on the spot. Groups not showing up will be invoiced 10000 Forints.
In case the group is more than 10 minutes behind schedule upon arrival the program might be cancelled.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice.


Entrance tickets from March 1, 2015 until further notice: 3000 Forints/adult, 2000 Forints/student.
Short tours taking guests into the Dohany synagogue are available on the spot, can not be booked in advance.
Tours of the Jewish district including the Dohany synagogue, the Raoul Wallenberg Park, the Rumbach synagogue and the Kazinczy orthodox synagogue are available. Find out more here.

Services in the Dohany street synagogue
Everyday morning prayer 7:30, evening prayer 6 p.m. in the Talmud-Torah (address: Wesselényi street 7, behind the Dohany temple). Friday evening prayer 6 pm. in the Dohany temple. Saturday morning prayer Sachris 9:30, Musaf approx. 10:45 in the Dohany temple.
During the services:
- no entrance for groups of tourists
- no entrance with uncovered shoulders
- no entrance in shorts or miniskirts
- no entrance with any kind of bag
- no entrance with cameras or videorecorders

Holocaust Memorial Center

Memorial Museum of Hungarian Speaking Jewry

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

Anna Frank Museum

Kazinczy street Synagogue in Budapest
Rumbach street Synagogue in Budapest
Vasvari street Synagogue in Budapest
Budapest World War II mass graves next to the Dohany Great Synagogue
Jewish cemeteries in Budapest
readings about the Budapest Jewish Quarter
readings about the Holocaust in Hungary

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