Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest (Zsinagóga)

Europe’s largest functioning synagogue, and the second largest in the World (the largest is in New York City), is in the VII district of Budapest, on Dohány Street. Known as the Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest (or the Grand Synagogue) it is sited at the gates of what was the old Jewish quarter of the city.

Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest (Zsinagóga)

Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest (Zsinagóga)

The synagogue complex also includes the Jewish Museum, whose collection is one of the best in Europe.

It is a popular Budapest tourist attraction for people interested in learning more about the Jewish faith and the effects of the holocaust on Hungary.

Getting there by Public Transport:

  • Nearest Metro Station: Astoria station
  • Nearest Tram Stop: Deák Ferenc tér
  • Nearest Trolley Bus Stop: Károly körút (Astoria M)
  • Nearest Bus Stop: Astoria

Dohány Street Synagogue Opening Times

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 6pm
  • Friday: 10am – 4:30pm
  • Saturday: CLOSED
  • Last entry to the synagogue is half an hour prior to closing time.

In 2013, the synagogue will also be closed on the following days:

  • 5th & 6th September
  • 13th & 14th September
  • 19th & 20th September
  • 26th & 27th September
  • 23rd October
  • 1st November
  • 24th & 25th December

On the following days the synagogue is open from 10am to 2pm:

  • 4th September
  • 18th September
  • 25th September

During the Summer Jewish Festival (25th August – 2nd December), one of the biggest Jewish events in Budapest, the Synagogue closes at 4pm.

The History of the Dohány Street Synagogue

The history of the synagogue goes back to the 18th century well before it was built. Between 1799 and 1857 the Jewish community in the area which now makes up modern Budapest grew from a few hundred people to more than twenty three thousand, and began to dominate the merchant business in the city.

The growth of the Jewish population brought along the demand for more places to worship. With the opening of a new synagogue in Vienna in 1826 (designed by Ludwig Förster) a precedent had been set and the design of the Dohány Street synagogue began soon after. Despite the will for a new synagogue the site was not enrolled in the land register until 24th July 1845.

By the beginning of 1854, there were three plans being considered by the committee in charge of the construction of the synagogue; the first in a neo-classic style by József Hild, the second in a Byzantine style by Frigyes Feszl, and the third in a Moorish style devised by Ludwig Förster.

After much debate and controversy Ludwig Förster’s design was chosen and construction began.

The ceremonial opening of the synagogue took place on 6th September 1859. The Dohány Street Synagogue became the next inspiration for a decades construction of European and Hungarian synagogues.

The design of the New York Central Synagogue (the largest synagogue in the world) was directly influenced by the Dohány Street Synagogue.

Photos of the Dohány Street Synagogue

Below you will find some photos of the Dohány Street Synagogue. We will be adding some more photos soon.

For more information about tourist attractions and places to visit when sightseeing in Budapest browse our Budapest Guide.

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