A guide to major Jewish heritage sites in both Budapest and the rest of Hungary on the web site of Mazsike, the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association, with lists and descriptions of active synagogues and Jewish cemeteries as well as some sites developed as cultural or tourist attractions.
The Mazsihisz web site posts this guide as a downloadable PDF file.
List of all Jewish cemeteries known to Mazsihisz, in Excel format, with addresses and contact numbers: there are at least 1300 Jewish cemeteries in all parts of Hungary, most of them neglected.
Lists, description, photographs and other information on more than 1,200 Jewish cemeteries in Hungary.
Download from here the PDF file of a detailed report on the condition, state, threats and legislation regarding the at least 1,300 Jewish cemeteries in Hungary, prepared by Lo Tishkach.
Online exhibition on the Jews in Hungary on the Bet Hatfutsot web site.
Web site and database relating to the work of the prominent Hungarian Jewish architect Bela Lajta, whose work included synagogue and ceremonial hall designs, sculptural tombs, a Jewish school in Budapest and other significant buildings.
Web site with information and photos on a number of Jewish sites in western Hungary and eastern Austria
A wealth of Jewish heritage sites, including active synagogues used by central Europe’s largest Jewish community. A score of synagogue buildings; medieval Jewish sites in Buda; downtown Jewish quarter in Pest (6th and 7th districts); 17 Jewish cemeteries.
Medieval Sites in Buda
There are the remains of two Medieval Synagogues in the hilly Buda district of the city, near the Castle, on Tancsics Mihaly street — formerly known as “Jewish street.”.
One, at Tancsics Mihaly 26, is a small ground-floor chapel, from the end of the 14th century, that now can be visited in May through October as part of the Castle Museum. It has inscriptions on its walls and there is a display of Medieval and Turksih-era Jewish gravestones.
The district’s monumental synagogue, built in 1461 and destroyed in 1686, stood on the opposite site of the street, in what is now the garden of Tancsics Mihaly 23. The ruins were discovered in 1964 by the archeologist for the Budapest History Museum, Laszlo Zolnay, but were filled in with earth and covered up again. Plans to excavate the synagogue as part of a development scheme for the Castle District are currently on hold.
Downtown Jewish District (6th and 7th Districts)
Educational/touristic/cultural initiative organized via Marom, the Masorti youth organization, to highlight the inner city neighborhoods that were a main center of Jewish life from the early-mid 19th century.
Dohany street synagogue (largest synagogue in Europe)
Web site about the courtyard of the Dohany st. synagogue and the Heroes synagogue, built next to it in 1930.The courtyard was used as a cemetery for Jews who died in the World War II Budapest Ghetto. The web site has lists of names, history, information and historic pictures.
Once known as the Chortkover Kloyz, a small prayer house originally founded by Hasidim from Chortkov, Galicia (today: Chortkiv, Ukraine), who came to Hungary after World War I, located in Budapest’s 8th district, once a populous Jewish neighborhood with many such little shuls. The current congregation is attempting to restore the Teleki ter Shtiebel through the Jakab Glaser Foundation, established in 2010.
A thoughtful article by Rabbi Alfréd Schőner about how a series of Holocaust memorials erected on the Danube embankment only obliquely refers to the victims commemorated as Jews.
ELSEWHERE IN HUNGARY
There are well over 1,200 Jewish cemeteries and scores of synagogue buildings around Hungary. You can find information on these in the lists and databases linked to above. Following are key sites and sites with their own web pages.
Baroque synagogue built in 1768. The original interior and part of the decoration were restored in 1980s, in a project that won the Europa Nostra award. The synagogu is used the town library and culture center. There is a disused Jewish cemetery near the synagogue, across a field.
Iskola u. 5.
Tel: +36 78 427 227
Munkacsy Mihaly u. 9
Tel: +36 79 322 741
Neoclassical synagogue from 1845 whose interior has been well preserved. Since 1985 the synagogue has served as the town library, with a large Holocaust memorial outside. There is a large Jewish cemetery, at Szegedi ut 107.
The orthodox Jewish cemetery, located behind a stone wall on Temeto utca near the town’s Christian cemeteries, comprises about 3,400 tombstones dating back to the 18th century and was recognized as a national historic monument in 1994 (on the 50th aniversary of the deporation of local Jews to Auschwitz). It is one of the best-maintained Jewish cemeteries in Hungary, cared for by the local Kertesz Istvan Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Jewish heritage. The Foundation has mapped, photographed and documented all the grave markers in the cemetery.
Ipoly Region Jewish Collection and Exhibition
24 Hunyadi u.
This small museum, which includes exhibits on local Jewish history and traditions, was created in 2000 and installed in the former Chevra Kadisha, a small peak-roofed building with a red and white facade.
Béla Majdán, Secretary of the advisory board of the István Kertész Foundation
General photos and photos of some individual gravestones in this village in northeastern Hungay; from web site on Jewish history and Holocaust in the town
Jews lived in Sopron from early medieval times until their expulsion in 1526. They returned in the 19th century, forming a community of nearly 2,000 Jews on the eve of World War II; almost all were killed. The town retains evidence of both the medieval and modern Jewish presence.
The two oldest synagogues in Hungary face each other on the onetime Jewish street, now called Uj utca (New street). Both date from the 14th century; both were transformed and used as private dwellings for centuries, and both were re-discovered and restored between the 1950s and 1970s. The gothic Old Synagogue at No. 22 Uj utca (Tel: +36 99 311 327), with a high peaked roof, richly carved Ark and foundations of the bimah, was restored in 1967 and serves as a Jewish Museum. The complex also includes a mikvah. The “New” Synagogue, built around 1370 as the private prayer house of a Jewish banker, is found across the street at No. 11 (but does not form part of the museum).
A disused dome-topped red-brick synagogue built in 1890-91 and designed by Janos Schiller stands at Papret Square, outside the town center. The park in front of it has a sculptural Holocaust memorial, and there are commemorative plaques on the synagogue’s wall.
The large Jewish cemetery on Tomalom utca near St. Mihaly’s church dates from the 19th century. It has a large Holocaust memorial.
Two synagogues buildings; Jewish community and active community complex with prayer room; large Jewish cemetery with ceremonial hall.
Szeged’s magnificent domed Great (New) Synagogue was designed by Budapest-based Lipot Baumhorn (1860-1932), Europe’s the most prolific synagogue architect, and completed in 1903. It was built for the Neolog community and is considered Baumhorn’s masterpiece. The architect worked closely with the Szeged Rabbi, Immanuel Löw, on the richly ornamental and symbolic decorative elements, which include stained glass by Miksa Roth and a monumental organ. The synagogue is set in a parklike square, whose plantings also were part of the design. Today, a marble plaque in the vestibule lists Holocaust victims from the town.
Next to the Great Synagogue is the former Orthodox (Old) Synagogue, a neoclassical building designed by Henrik and Josef Lipowsky and completed in 1843. Listed as a cultural monument, it is owned by the local government and currently used for cultural purposes.
The Great Synagogue is part of a nearby Jewish communal complex also designed by Baumhorn that includes a prayer room that is also richly ornamented, and a gala hall. Baumhorn also designed the domed Ceremonial Hall in the large Jewish Cemetery. The cemetery includes the temple-like tomb of Rabbi Lipot Löw, one of the pioneers of Neolog Judaism in Hungary.
Gutenberg u. 20
Tel: +36 62 423 849
Hajnóczy u. 12
Fonogyari ut 9.
Tel: +36 70 542 0961
Jewish Community Office
Jósika u. 10
Former grand synagogue (now a concert hall); small synagogue; Jewish cemetery; urban buildings.
Web site with documentation, history, photographs of religious sites as well as urban architecture.