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Magnificent Jewish Memorials and Synagogues from Balatonfüred to Berettyóújfalu

Before World War II, there were hundreds of operating synagogues countrywide; however, only few of them could survive to our day. Some of the buildings were repurposed, but, luckily, you can find synagogues where the sound of prayers can be heard up to this day. From the synagogues of the country situated in the countryside, many have undergone major renovations so they can suitably honour the memory of the Jewish community once lived in this country and support the reviving ...

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The Synagogue of Balatonfüred

These days, the former synagogue, which has undergone a renovation recently, is home to a museum called The House of Jewish Excellence. The predecessor of the building complex was built in the 1200s, and in an earlier period, it functioned as a Calvinist church; the local Jewish Community only purchased the building in 1855. During World War II, almost all members of the Jewish Community of Füred perished, the Torah scrolls of the synagogue were taken away, and the building went through many changes of ownership in the following decades: it functioned as a ship’s depot, a mechanical workshop, and even as a restaurant. During its renovation in 2017, a modern art exhibition space was created inside. In the exhibition titled From Einstein to Our Days – Jews and State-of-the-Art Technology, the visitors can learn about the life and work of more than 130 world famous scientists of a Jewish origin. Within the synagogue, a Torah ark originating from the former synagogue in Garay tér Budapest reminds the visitors of the sacred character of the space. It gives a uniqueness to the Torah ark that its glass mosaic art piece was made by Miksa Róth, a famous stained-glass painter and mosaic artist.

The Synagogue of Pécs

The synagogue in Kossuth tér built in the Romantic style fits neatly within the Mediterranean atmosphere of the downtown of Pécs. The synagogue situated a 5-minute-walk from the main square of the town was designed by Frigyes Feszl, Károly Gerster, and Lipót Kauser, and it was opened to the Jews of the town and its surroundings in 1869. Currently, the Synagogue of Pécs is one of the most beautiful synagogues of Transdanubia where you can hear the sound of prayers up to this day. Furthermore, in the interior of the synagogue, there is an exhibition where the visitors can learn about the history of the Jews of Baranya County.

The Synagogue of Sopron

In the downtown of Sopron, the ruins of a synagogue built in the Gothic style in the Middle Ages constitute a unique and unparalleled monument in Europe. The excavation of the synagogue built around the 1300s began in the 1960s, and, nowadays, it functions as a museum. In the exhibition, the visitors can ‘travel back centuries in time’, learn about the history of the building and the customs and commodities of the Jews; moreover, they can observe the artefacts found during the excavations. The synagogue survived only in fragmentary pieces can be accessed through a little courtyard. In the Middle Ages, the courtyard led to a xenodochium and to a mikveh, i.e. a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion. These days, a well dug into the ground is the only reminder of the latter.

The Synagogue of Szeged

For those who have seen the Szeged Synagogue, it is hardly disputable that this building is the most beautiful work of its designer, Lipót Baumhorn. On the whole, the famous architect designed 22 synagogues; however, the Szeged Synagogue surpasses many other synagogues not just by its appearance but by its size, as this building is the second largest synagogue of our country and the fourth largest synagogue in the world. The eclectic building with its Art Nouveau, Moorish-Arab-Mediterranean, Baroque, Gothic, and Romanesque stylistic elements symbolises the diversity of the Jewish people. During designing the style of the synagogue, Baumhorn was assisted by Chief Rabbi Immánuel Lőw. The building was renovated in 2017, its lobby was converted into a shrine to commemorate the victims [of the Holocaust]. Going further inside, the cupola, the inner side of the dome, symbolising the world, is an unforgettable experience, and the garden of the synagogue exhibiting plants from the Bible also needs to be seen. The 1,340-seat-synagogue is only used by the believers during the major holidays, but, due to its excellent acoustics, the building regularly provides a venue for concerts and, occasionally, for exhibitions.

The Synagogue of Miskolc

This building designed by Ludwig Förster in the Romanesque Revival style was handed over in 1863, and many claim that this is one of the most beautiful synagogues in Europe. In the more than 150-year-old building, these days, only the abandoned nameplates on the pews and the size of the synagogue recall that once there was a sizeable Jewish Community dwelling and working in the town. Although there is still a Jewish congregation in Miskolc, its members do not gather to pray in the synagogue in Kazinczy utca because that building is currently under renovation. However, the renovation works do not just embellish the synagogue. In the building next to the synagogue, a visitors’ centre was created to meet the demands of religious tourism picking up in the area. In the visitors’ centre, a kosher kitchen and a public space were also established, and it is planned to establish a place of accommodation for up to 30 people and to rebuild the old mikveh, i.e. ritual bath. Thus, the synagogue in Kazinczy utca and its surroundings can renew not only as a sacred space but also as an important meeting place and a cultural receptive space.

The Two Synagogues of Debrecen

In the historic downtown of Debrecen, in the former Jewish quarter, the two synagogues of the town, the Synagogue in Pásti utca and the Synagogue in Kápolnási utca, can be found just a two-minute-walk from each other. The former was handed over in 1902; in its cellar, there was a ritual bath, while in its courtyard, there was a kosher slaughterhouse. The 600 capacity, Byzantine style building in Kápolnási utca was opened in 1909. During World War II, both buildings were damaged. The renovation works began in 2012, and, in 2015, both synagogues were handed over to the public. Nowadays, the building in Pásti utca does not only have a sacred function, but it frequently provides a venue for concerts and exhibitions. An exhibition displaying the traditions of the Jewish people and the history of the local Jewish people was opened within this building, while in its courtyard, a Holocaust Memorial was created in memory of the victims of the Shoah, and, in the former ritual bath, a kosher wine bar and a gallery were created. It is mostly during the major holidays when the Jewish believers of the town gather in the Synagogue in Kápolnási utca.

The Synagogue of Berettyóújfalu

The recently renovated Synagogue of Berettyóújfalu can be found South of Debrecen, just a stone throw’s away from the Romanian border. The synagogue has become one of the main Jewish Memorials of the region. Thanks to the archive material, the facade of the building could be rebuilt similarly to its original form, and the interior was also completely renewed. Built in 1903 and used as a warehouse after the Holocaust, this 1,500 capacity, three-storey synagogue has been supplemented with a new, modern building containing a reception desk, a coffee and gift shop, and other premises. Primarily, the synagogue serves as a cultural space, a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

The Synagogue of Kőszeg

One of the most beautiful synagogues of the country built in the Romantic style has been renewed in Kőszeg. Built in 1858–1859 and renovated in recent years, visiting this double bastion like building guarantees a ‘time travel’ for the visitor. If you are attentive enough, you can find the name of Fülöp Schey on the stone tablets placed at the height of the top cornice. Back then Schey’s donation made it possible to build this synagogue. According to the plans, a museum and a Holocaust Memorial will be established in the building, and it will provide a venue for different exhibitions and cultural programmes, but, according to needs, it will function as a sacred place as well.

'Footsteps of the Wonder Rabbis’

Not only the wine, the world famous Tokaji aszú, and the legendary Tokaji Essence do lure the travellers to Tokaj-Hegyalja. The Jewish Memorials and a pilgrimage organised around the Memorials can attract those who would like to learn about the lives and stories of the Hasidic Jews once living in this area. Arriving from the other side of the Carpathians, in the 17th and 18th century, Jewish merchants and wine producers settled around Tokaj, and thanks to them, the area started to grow rapidly. It is their memorials and synagogues that the 150-kilometres-long ‘On the Footsteps of the Wonder Rabbis’ Pilgrimage Route, with Mád as its starting and end point, goes along. In the village nowadays renowned for its gastronomy, the Baroque and Zopf style Synagogue of Mád is an unforgettable sight. Opposite to the building won the Europa Nostra Award for its professional renovation, there are an also renovated Rabbi House and Yeshiva. Here, the pilgrims can find an accommodation as well, and they can visit an exhibition displaying the history and heritage of the Jewish people of the surrounding area.


The ‘On the Footsteps of the Wonder Rabbis’ Pilgrimage Route goes along 10 villages, one of which is Bodrogkeresztúr, one of the most iconic places. In the heyday of the village bordering the river Bodrog, there were three synagogues, but today, there is only one, the biggest synagogue, left. Currently, the Zemplém Regional Office of the Aggtelek National Park Directorate is located in the building. However, in Bodrogkeresztúr, the principal tourist attraction is not the synagogue. It is in a cemetery established on the hillside of Dereszla where the burial place of the wonder rabbi Yeshayah Steiner can be found. Besides the burial place, it is also worthwhile to visit the memorial house created in the former home of the rabbi.