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Budapest Jewish Heritage Private Tour Options:
Jewish Heritage of Budapest Tour
Jewish Heritage and General Budapest Tour
Budapest City Highlights
Turkish and Roman Heritage
Famous Café Houses
Artist village Szentendre
Budapest is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and, with over 20 million visitors per year, a must-see destination!
The modern city of Budapest is an amalgamation of the old city names of ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ straddling the Danube River, each with its own separate Jewish community. A tour therefore naturally crosses the river to explore both historic Jewish quarters. One can still sense the power and splendor of the Austro-Hungarian dualmonarchy which was home to many different ethnic and religious groups. Where once a 15th century synagogue stood is now a Jewish Museum incorporating its remains. The community split into Neolog (progressive) and Orthodox in 1869, while those who refused the split built the ‘Status-Quo’ synagogue. The birth house of Theodor Herzl is a museum and many chapters in the history of Zionism took place here. By 1935 there were more than 200,000 Jews in Budapest, making this community one of the largest in the world. Hungary was one of the Axis powers and Jews were persecuted first by the collaborative government. When Hungarian Fascists took power in 1944, the Nazis were able to carry out a devastating deportation action in which over half of Hungary’s Jews were murdered within a few months. Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and Swiss Consul Carl Lutz saved 10,000 of the Hungarian Jews marked for death by issuing them false papers. See the moving granite and steel “Weeping Willow” memorial and a bronze statue of Wallenberg to commemorate the Righteous Gentiles. During Soviet times a relatively large Jewish community continued to live here (about 60,000 members). Budapest was the only place within the Soviet satellite countries where an operational Rabbinical Seminary continued to exist!
The highlight of any tour to Budapest is a visit to the Moorish style Dohany Street Synagogue. It is perhaps the most magnificent synagogue in the world and largest in Europe, holding 3,000 people. Today’s community of approximately 90,000 is served by 23 synagogues and prayer houses, 2 colleges, 3 high schools, a Jewish hospital, Jewish newspaper, kosher restaurants, butchers and bakers.
A tour of Budapest includes World Heritage Sites such as the Buda Castle and surrounding Castle Quarter, Saint Stephen’s Basilica, the Chain Bridge, the mid 19th century Andrássy Avenue with its eclectic neo-Renaissance palaces and the Hungarian State Opera. The spectacular neo-Gothic Parliament is ornate and massive – building materials included 40 kg.of gold! – displaying its splendor on the banks of the Danube. A historical stroll along the Danube Promenade is a must for this fascinating, charming and very Jewish city.
If you are thinking of visiting Budapest, perhaps you would be interested in including Vienna and Prague in your trip as well!
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Downtown Design Walk, the Jewish Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue
Explore contemporary Hungarian design on the Pest side of the Elizabeth Bridge. At least 15 newly-created spaces provide an
insider look into what’s brewing in the field, from contemporary arts to everyday objects and jewelry. Continue towards the Jewish Quarter for a fresh take on the ruin pub area, and onwards to
Andrássy Avenue, the Champs Elysees of Budapest.
Galleries and Antiques: Margaret Bridge to Chain Bridge
The Bauhaus and Art Nouveau-style Újlipótváros is a distinctive area within the city center. Its breathtaking
resident buildings; St. Stephen's Park; views of Margaret Island and Buda Hills; cafes and pastry shops; and deeply-rooted Jewish history all make for must-sees. Further south, find several
galleries in the Falk Miksa Street neighborhood and dozens of antique shops as well.