Budapest is one of the most sophisticated capitals of Central Europe. This place is also referred to as “Paris of East”. This place consists of large size roads and visually appealing architecture. Approximately, 90,000 Jews are residing in Budapest. I planned a weekend in Budapest to see the amazing architecture of this place and explore Jewish life.
Budapest Travel – Kosher and Jewish Life in Budapest
Illustrious Jewish history is associated with this place. I arranged a full day tour at Budapest by contacting Passover Programs organizers. There were many organizers and I selected one with good experience in this field.
The Passover organizer arranged one guide for me who is already residing in Budapest. The guide had a good wealth of knowledge about this place and its Jewish culture. He had worked with various types of travelers, from Ultra-orthodox to Jewish tourists. He had grown under community rules and this is the reason he was very proactive in protecting and furthering Jewish life.
Guide visited my hotel, Palazzo Zichy, and picked me up. This hotel belonged to the Zichy family who were kind of Jews in the 18th century. He drove me to the Jewish quarter. After this point, we started walking through old narrow streets and my guide pointed out various Jewish buildings and structures. Magen David and menorahs carved into the brickwork tells us the existence of Jewish life in this place.
Budapest Jewish Travel Guide
My guide has described to me in detail the Jewish history. He told me that old Jewish people live in the “Jewish Quarter” as opposed to the “Jewish Ghetto”. After 1944, the Nazis had occupied Hungary and this has led to the introduction of the Ghetto. After that, walls were built.
After this location, my guide took me to the Orthodox Kazinczy Synagogue. This Synagogue was one of the three main Synagogues in Budapest. We entered this Synagogue and took our seats. After that, I had an amazing talk session with my guide related to Jewish history in Budapest. The way explained everything related to Jewish history is really amazing. I was spellbound for a few seconds. He answered all of my questions. He had good knowledge of everything. I was really amazed!
Budapest Farmer Market Experience
From this place, we started moving to another location. We stop for a few seconds at the Kosher bakery. After that, my guide surprised me with another detour to Sunday’s “farmers market”. This market was near to the rundown courtyard. In this market, I enjoyed Hungarian food and drinks. This place was full of entertainment activities and it was a memorable experience in Budapest. It was a glimpse of Hungary that you will not find in modern shops.
Budapest – The Most Memorable Experience
After spending a beautiful time at the farmers market, we started moving to Dohany Street Synagogue. Thus Synagogue is constructed in “Moorish” style. This Synagogue is the most popular place in Budapest. This Synagogue has a seating arrangement of 3,000 people and it is the third-largest Synagogue in the whole world.
The Synagogue was constructed for the “Neolog” movement or modern-day conservatism. Dohany has its Bimah at the front side of the Shul. This Synagogue was constructed before various other landmarks in Budapest. It shows that the Jewish influence in Budapest burgeoned before starting the golden age of Austria. There is one less known fact that is shared with me by my Guide that Theodore Herzl was born in Budapest.
The ground of Dohany Synagogue consists of graves of more than 2,000 Jewish souls. All these graves are from the time of the Second World War. Near this Synagogue, you will find a silver weeping willow tree. This tree was planted by Tony Curtis, a Jewish Hollywood actor. He planted this tree in memory of his parents. Here, people make donations and inscribe their family members’ name that has lost their lives in Holocaust.
Within this complex, a Jewish museum is also located. This museum displays the sad and fascinating exhibition that described Hungary during World War 2.
Hungary is full of Jewish things and it is an amazing place to visit. I have learned various things related to Hungarian Jewish people. It was really a memorable journey and people should visit Hungary during the Passover vacations because you do not need to worry about kosher food availability
Author Bio: Aria Akachi
I am passionate about entrepreneurship, startups and the web in general. I worked in several web agencies and I am now an independent web marketing consultant.