The Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, also known as the Dohány Street Synagogue, is the largest synagogue in Europe. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style. The Dohány Street Synagogue complex consists of the Great Synagogue, the Heroes' Temple, the graveyard, the Memorial, and the Jewish Museum. Dohány Street itself, a leafy street in the city centre, carries strong Holocaust connotations as it constituted the border of the Budapest Ghetto. This synagogue is very different from other synagogues as it is the only one to have pipe organs and a cemetery.
In 1944, the Dohány Street Synagogue was part of the Jewish ghetto for the city Jews and served as shelter for many hundreds. Over two thousand of those who died in the ghetto from hunger and cold during the winter 1944-1945 are buried in the courtyard of the synagogue.
Our final visit was to the Raoul Wallenberg Emlékpark (memory park) in the rear courtyard. This holds the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs which resembles a weeping willow whose leaves bear inscriptions with the names of victims. At least 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Nazis.
We were transferred from our hotel to our cruise ship, the S.S. Maria Theresa, in time for lunch before being shown to our cabins. In the afternoon we greeted in the lounge by our captain who also led the obligatory safety briefing. This was followed by an excellent dinner in the restaurant before heading to the lounge for after dinner drinks and a piano recital.
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