Budapest, Hungary – 2. Jewish Hungary and the Grand Synagogue

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This is the Grand Synagogue in Budapest, its the biggest in Europe and No.2 in the world (the #1 is actually in New York)

This is both a live functioning place of worship and also a museum at the same time.

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The French flag is there for a waiting place for a tour guide.  There are tours for Hungarian, English, French, Spanish, Russian and Hebrew speaking visitors.    This is a truly incredible looking temple, every fitting and decoration appears to have done with the utmost quality and case.

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This spiral staircase looks great, I ended up seeing another later when I went to Trinity College (which is Christian, in Dublin, Ireland)     On the right, a big collection of candelabras used for lighting Shabbat candles.

I think Hungary was hit very hard by the Shoah (Holocaust) but there are items from then, and also from happier times when this was a bustling place for celebrating Jewish holidays.

Slovakia – 1. Austria’s neighbour and travel hacks – 2. River Danube – 3. Strange mirrored museum – 4. Things I learned from my visit to Slovakia – 5. Slovakia protests and strange goings on

Hungary – 1. Feeling Hungary – 2. Jewish Hungary and the Grand Synagogue – – 3. Christian revival hits Hungary4. Hungary Eating


Bridgend > Heathrow > Budapest > Tel Aviv > Jerusalem = one heck of a long day….

Due to some major problems with my flight, I was now going back to Israel via Budapest.  Sometimes this can take some thinking, lots of Eastern European capitals start with B for some reason.  Budapest, Bucharest, Bratislava, Belgrade, etc.  But I have not been to Hungary, I did IT support some software engineers who worked for Ericsson in Hungary last year though.  Unusually enough some friends from Finland tell me there language (which is nothing like Danish, Norwegian or Swedish) is closer to Hungarian than anything else.  I also have an Aunt who is a Hungarian Jew who is a holocaust survivor.

The flight was with Malev, Hungary’s national airline, although the first part of the journey was from Heathrow to Budapest with British Airways, its nice not to being flying with a budget airline and get the perks like a decent sandwich and drinks on this fairly short flight.

If you are hungry in Hungary, I got this unusual pancake (ham, egg and lots mustard) from the cafe in the airport which with a coffee cost me 7 Euros, a lot but I didn’t get any Hungarian (no I can’t remember what their currency was without looking on the web 🙂 ) money out, as this was a last minute trip.  This stop over was about 6 hours, I did get a chance to leave the airport, and just saw a car park and a half finished building site, as I didn’t know how far away the city centre was, I decided just to stay put and sleep.   At least unlike the cruel designers of UK airports who make the seats so you can’t lie down on them, here in Budapest there are no rests on the seats so sleeping is quite comfortable.   There were of course people crowded round a TV watching the world cup also.  Outside it seems that gone are the days of old eastern bloc vehicles I saw when I went to Poland years ago, the Hungarians drive modern Skodas, Renaults, Opels and Mercedes.

Lastly, I maybe did get one glimpse of a nice part of Budapest, from the window of the plane.  I am pretty sure that this is the river Danube. 🙂

The last part of the trip back was fairly uneventful, but touching down in Tel Aviv was nearly 4am, and once on a Sherut I headed back in my flat in Jerusalem at 6am, meant I had been travelling about for close to 24 hours.