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Medieval Synagogue, Budapest

Photo © teofilo. View all images in our Medieval Synagogue Photo Gallery.
Photo © teofilo.
Photo © teofilo.

The Medieval Synagogue (Kozépkori Zsidó Imaház) of Budapest is a two-room Sephardic synagogue from 1364 that was discovered in the 1960s during general excavation work in the Castle District.

The first Jewish families in Budapest arrived in the mid-13th century and lived in the precincts of Buda Castle. A Jewish community connected with the coin-minting industry became established in the area from the former Zsido Gate, to the Szent György Street – formerly known as Zsido (Jewish) Street.

The Jewish families of the area were forced to leave during the reign of King Lajos IV. After they were allowed to return, they settled in New Zsido Street (now called Táncsics Street) and built this synagogue in 1364.

Buda's Jews were massacred in the late 17th century following the defeat of occupying Turks by a Habsburg-led Christian army. The Medieval Synagogue was turned into an apartment and its history was soon forgotten. It wasn't until the 1960s that it was rediscovered by accident during general excavations. It includes 17th-century murals with biblical inscriptions, including a bow pointing to heaven with the text, "The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength," and a Star of David with Aaron's blessing: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee."

Another excavation project nearby unearthed the ruins of another, much larger, synagogue dating from 1461. It stood across the street from the Sephardic synagogue at Numbers 21-23. All that remains of it are parts of walls, a keystone (on display inside), and three stone columns standing in the courtyard.

Some Hebrew gravestones are on display behind a grate in the entryway; the small one in the center of the front row dates from the 3rd century AD.

You can see just about everything from the entrance; consider the admission fee a contribution to the museum. The English-speaking caretaker will give free informal tours to those who express an interest.

Quick Facts on the Medieval Synagogue

Site Information
Names:Kozépkori Zsidó Imaház; Medieval Synagogue; Medieval Synagogue, Budapest
City:Budapest
State:Budapest
Country:Hungary
Categories:Synagogues
Faiths:Judaism; Sephardic
Dates:1364
Status:museum
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Budapest, Hungary
Coordinates:47.504512° N, 19.031099° E  (view on Google Maps)
Website:www.btm.hu
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of the Medieval Synagogue

Below is a location map and aerial view of the Medieval Synagogue. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Frommer's Budapest & the Best of Hungary.
  2. Jewish Budapest - MarvaoGuide.com

More Information

Article Info

Title:Medieval Synagogue, Budapest
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:10/07/2011
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/hungary/budapest-medieval-synagogue
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