The Jewish Cemetery and the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park at the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary

The city of Budapest in Hungary has such an interesting history and there are many wonderful sites to see when visiting the capital city. One of the places that should certainly be visited is the Dohany Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue. There are many reasons to take time to go to the synagogue, most notably the synagogue itself as well as the Hungarian Jewish Museum that is located there. When walking around the grounds of the synagogue, you will find two spots that are both beautiful and yet humbling at the same time. First is the Jewish Cemetery that is located at the synagogue, which is something very unusual indeed. The second is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, which is a courtyard with the focal point being the weeping willow artwork.

Inside the Courtyard of the Great Synagogue
Standing in the Cemetery with the Plaque in the Background
Trees in the Cemetery with the Synagogue Adjacent

We happened to visit Dohany Street Synagogue on a rainy day, which in many ways enhanced to the atmosphere as we walked around the synagogue to see the memorials that are located there. In a period of history that is important to remember in order to ensure that it never happens again, the memorials honor the over 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. The cemetery is certainly unusual in that the Torah specifies that burials are supposed to be outside of the city, but this was a matter of circumstance as about 2,000 people were buried at the site during the Holocaust in a makeshift graveyard. Today there is a lush garden amongst the various headstones to commemorate those who are buried there.

The Imre Varga Weeping Willow Art Piece
Memorial in the Cemetery
Another View of the Cemetery

At the rear of the synagogue is the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park. The artwork by Imre Varga depicting a weeping willow with names and tattoo numbers of those whose lives were lost there engraved on the leaves. The water from the rain was glistening off of the leaves and branches while were there and it was truly as if the artwork was actually weeping on the day that we visited. We had a similar experience when we saw the Shoes on the Danube Bank, which is another memorial to those who were murdered during the Holocaust. It is a very somber experience as you walk around the grounds, but certainly something that should be seen when planning a trip to Budapest.

Artwork Depicting People Being Murdered
Headstones in the Cemetery
The Weeping Willow from Behind

The Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest

The Dohany Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue, is certainly an important site to visit during any trip to Budapest, Hungary. There are many reasons to visit the synagogue including its size, architecture, and history. The synagogue complex is also home to the Hungarian Jewish Museum, Heroes’ Temple, Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park, and the Jewish Cemetery. There can be long lines to get into the Dohany Street Synagogue, but it is definitely worth the wait. You will undoubtedly walk away with a mix of emotions as it is haunting, sad, and yet a sense of human nature’s ability to overcome.

Chandelier in the Main Chamber

Focal Point of the Synagogue

Colorful Dome

Hungarian Jewish Museum

Jewish Cemetery

Along with Shoes Along the Danube Bank, walking through the Hungarian Jewish Museum is a stark reminder of how horrific the Jewish community was treated during World War II. The Dohany Street Synagogue is located in the Old Jewish Quarter of Budapest and was part of the Jewish Ghetto during the war. It is important for everyone to understand and remember the atrocities that occurred. In addition to the museum, the Jewish Cemetery, which would not normally be located next to the synagogue, is where over 2,000 people were buried toward the end of the war. There is a statue of a weeping willow in the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park in the rear courtyard that has the names and tattoo numbers of those whose lives were lost there.

Weeping Willow Memorial

Balcony and Columns

One of the Displays in the Museum

Part of the Jewish Cemetery

Moorish and Gothic Architecture

The inside of the Dohany Street Synagogue is truly quite beautiful. Built in the 1850’s in a Moorish design, the synagogue holds up to 3,000 worshipers making it the second largest synagogue in the world and the largest in Europe. The seats on the ground floor are for men and the upper gallery has seats for women. There is also an ornately decorated dome within the synagogue as well as large chandeliers above the center aisle. There are also gothic influences as well, including the stained glass windows that line the main chamber.

Ornate Details

Enormous Interior

Map of the Jewish Ghetto

Memorial in the Courtyard

Wall Behind the Synagogue

We spent about two hours touring the Great Synagogue and it is definitely worth at least that amount of time. There are also many wonderful restaurants and shops located in the Old Jewish Quarter, so you should also spend several hours wondering through the narrow side streets. The Dohany Street Synagogue is an important landmark in Budapest and Hungary in general. We visited on a rainy day, which made the experience even more impactful.

Holocaust Memorial Plaque

Cemetery Courtyard

Stained Glass Windows

Golden Candelabras

Beautiful Exterior


Wet and Rainy Day in Budapest

Despite some cold and rainy weather, we managed to have a wonderful second day in Budapest yesterday. The highlight of the day was the Dohany Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue since it is the largest synagogue in Europe. It is fascinating and beautiful, but the history of the holocaust that accompanies it is equally tragic. Afterwards, we went to one of the ruin bars in Budapest, which are bars built in dilapidated buildings with an artistic and colorful flair. Many more places to visit tomorrow, but here is a taste of our day today.

Hungarian Street Art

Details Inside the Dohany Synagogue

Having Drinks at a Ruin Bar

The Synagogue is Beautiful

Museum Depicting the Jewish Ghetto of World War II

Walking the Streets of the Jewish Quarter in the Rain

Whimsical Art at the Ruin Bar