On Sunday we were scheduled to have a Jewish tour of Budapest with Zoltan but he was unable to take us. So I did some quick searching on the internet and decided that we would try to take a tour of the Parliament followed by a tour of the Great Synagogue. I thought we should have a guided tour of the Synagogue so I signed us up for one that started at 10am.
First thing Sunday morning, we took a taxi to the Parliament building and found that there were NO tickets available for that day. BUMMER!! So we started walking thinking we'd find a place for some breakfast. NOTHING. BUMMER 2!! Finally we did find a place for a bite and it was only a couple of blocks from the Synagogue. We had our breakfast and set off for our tour.
Our luck turned. We were met at the Synagogue entrance by our guide, Janos Batki and we were going to have a PRIVATE tour of the Synagogue and the area!
The Dohany Street or Great Synagogue is said to be the 2nd largest synagogue in the world behind Temple Emanu-El in New York. It IS an imposing structure. It was built in the middle of the 19th century in the Byzantine style. It's so large I couldn't get a picture of the entire facade. Above are a couple of views.
The interior is equally impressive. About 2/3 of the way down, there is a "pulpit" cupola on each side. The Ark is in a large domed structure that is situated in a domed alcove of the building. Behind it is the large organ.
Looking back toward the entrance, you can see the chandeliers. and the balconies on either side where the women sat when the services were segregated. (I understand that this is no longer paracticed in this synagogue.)
Below is a picture of us standing in front of the Bima and also a picture of Janos and Granny.
Behind the synagogue is the Jewish Museum, the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, the Jewish cemetary and the Heroes' Temple. We took a short tour of the museum and saw, among other things, the stained glass windows shown below. On the left and right are two of the old gravestones we saw. Below center is the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs. This sculpture, designed by Imre Varga, is in the form of a weeping willow with the leaves inscribed with the names of victims of the Holocaust. It is a very beautiful sculpture and done very tastefully.
When we left the Great Synagogue complex, we walked around the Jewish quarter eventually making our way to the Kazinczy Synagouge - the Orthodox synagogue in Budapest. The street was being repaired so we had to take care of the piles of debris. Along the way we saw the outdoor huppa shown below.
Inside the synagogue we visited one of the sanctuaries. I was amused by the chandeliers. They were filled with the newest energy saving light bulbs. The modern times in juxtaposition with the old.