Fodor’s Expert Review
Seating 3,000, Europe's largest synagogue was designed by Ludwig Förs and built between 1844 and 1859 in a Byzantine-Moorish style described as "consciously archaic Romantic-Eastern." Desecrated by German and Hungarian Nazis, it was painstakingly reconstructed with donations from all over the world; its doors reopened in the fall of 1996. While used for regular services during much of the year, it is generally not used in midwinter, as the space is too large to heat; between December and February, visiting hours are erratic (so call ahead).
In the courtyard behind the synagogue a weeping willow made of metal honors the victims of the Holocaust. Liszt and Saint-Saëns are among the great musicians who played the synagogue's grand organ. A museum upstairs displays items from Hungarian Jewish religious life.