Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Budapest: Churches and Synagogue

The day after Easter Sunday was one of the brightest, sunniest days of our river-cruise trip in March.  So you won't be surprised that we packed it to the gills!

Our first mission (so to speak...since this is a post about churches), was to see the Dohány Street Synagogue on the Pest side of the Danube.  But on the way...

...we stopped in at this wee church first.
Remember, this was the Monday morning after Easter.

And then we saw the aftermath of a car accident...our first of the entire trip.
Everything about it appeared as though it could have been anywhere!

There she was...just as we had remembered on our Viking excursion when we drove by the previous Friday.
This time we were on foot and could see it up close and personal.

The Dohány Street Synagogue, from 1859, is Europe's largest, seating 3,000.
Sadly, it wasn't open...but we saw a lot!

 I was especially mesmerized by all the Stars of David mixed in with the design and architecture.

We peeked through every gate and crevice possible....

...especially at the Memorial of the Hungarian Jewish Martyrs, resembling a weeping willow (1989).
The leaves bear the names of over 400,000 Hungarian Jews murdered by the Nazis.
I just wish we could have gone inside to see the names!

Have you ever wanted to learn Hebrew?  I have.
(click any collage to enlarge)

It's the kind of place where you just want to sit and soak it all in!

It so happens that there was an advertisement inside the memorial courtyard that pointed out a Flodni (apple-walnut-poppy-seed pastry) café just down the street.  And since it was about that time....

...oh, YES.  Just what the doctor ordered.  Rachel's flodni, to be precise.  
She's "one of the queens of Budapest Jewish cooking. The daughter of a noted rabbi."
Doesn't get more authentic than that...just a few doors down from the synagogue!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Newly energized, we headed off to another of Budapest's famous churches but stopped off first at the nearby Opera House.

The Hungarian State Opera House, from 1875, is Hungary's largest opera building.

Lucky for us, we were able to step inside the lobby and get a glimpse of the grandeur.

The outside wasn't bad either!  (Look at that imp!)

Like I said, we were on our way to see another church, the grand St. Stephen's Basilica from 1905.  It's the third largest church building in present-day Hungary, according to Wiki.

 If that doesn't grab your attention, wait till you go inside.

And yes, that's a souvenir-coin machine right at the door before going in!

Sometimes there's nothing you can say!

"At the feet of Jesus" came to mind.

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Near St. Stephen's we found the metro station and headed across the Danube to the Buda side of the city.  Remember all those churches we saw, clustered near the Matthias Church?

To refresh your mind, see all those steeples?  Yup!
We wanted to see what we could of the other churches.

 This Elizabeth Temple was on a side street on our way to another church...and wasn't open.

This Church of St. Anne, from 1762, was least for the inside glassed foyer.
It's amazing what pictures you can still take without going all the way inside!

But this Church of Szilágyi Dezso, from 1896, was the one I so hoped was open...but wasn't.  
Well, at least it was a treat to behold on the outside.  Look at those colored roof tiles!

By then it was time to eat supper and go home.  So we did.

And what a great choice it was!
You can never go wrong with a nautical theme...for us!

And because this was our last time on the Buda side of the city, I just had to capture the famous icons again:
the Parliament (looking back to the Pest side), the Margaret Bridge, and the Chain Bridge.
By now you should have all these landmarks down pat, right?!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Other impressions from the day...

...more impressions...

...and more impressions.

This, my friends, is Budapest, with one more day left to go....


  1. OMG! I couldn't get past the Flodni!!! So cool that she is called Hungary's Rachael Ray, ha! A good friend of mine - his mother is from Budapest and her cooking is amazing!!! Thanks for another fabulous post of your adventure!

    1. Isn't it funny how stopping to eat something after so much visual saturation seems to balance things out, Robin. HA! We would gladly have you join us, you know!!! :)

  2. You should win an award for the best presentation of showing this river cruise and the cities we visited. Your blog is the best appetizer for people that want to travel.
    It is amazing how much we saw in that one day, and I never get tired of looking at these wonderful pictures. Thank you for this amazing job you do.

    1. You are way too generous, MLMA, but thank you anyway. You know I have done this for US. I'm very glad it's almost done...before we have a few days in Luxembourg!!!

      It really WAS a trip of a lifetime!

  3. Your photographs of these wonderful buildings are impressive, but even more impressive is the fact that you remember so many details about each church, synagogue etc, and even more impressive than that is the hours and hours you must have spent to put all these blog posts together!!!! Well done.

    1. Well, Sham, I don't remember everything...which is why I'm so thankful for the daily itineraries AND Google! Astrid is a whiz at Google Maps and often helps me find/name things! What a team. :) But thank you, anyway. It has been a full-time job since returning at the beginning of April. That makes it 3 months now...and I'm almost done! Whew.

  4. There are like 10 posts within this post! My head is swimming with ALL YOU SAW! The corridors so intrigue me - lovely arches, the sun, the shadows that play throughout ... If that first image of a church was Catholic... I love it because it is light and airy! Nice to know Europe has one like that :) (Also really liked the look of St. Anne.)

    "At the Feet of Jesus" ... that painting of him on the crucifix is really interesting to me - as is the lady in the pew... wow, what a capture. All by herself, hunched over ....

    The skyline of "Buda" side of the river is amazing! Wow. (I'm working my way backward now ;P Sending you a Happy Fourth of July ;) !!

    1. Thank you, dear Margaret. Happy 4th to you, too. Once I finish the last day, which I'm working on now, I plan to catch up on you and everyone else. I'm bound and determined to get it done.

      But, YES, all that you's all part of my psyche now. THIS is Europe as I've come to know it!

  5. What an extraordinary tour! You make it so I almost don't have to go there, but you make me want to even more. This may be my homeland. The "postcard" of spires is unbelievably beautiful. I hope you can get into the synagogue. What a beauty! Thank you.

    1. Actually, Ted, since it was in Prague where I met you and Jane, I can EASILY see you loving Budapest in the same way. Lots of similarities. I hated that the synagogue wasn't open that day but at least we had the chance to see a lot from the outside. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  6. You are so right ... sometimes there's just nothing you can say! I loved it ALL, especially the Opera House and the rows of enpty chairs. So much for my eyes to take in! Great job.

    1. Thank you, Susan, even if there's nothing to say. Short of eyes! :)

  7. I savoured each one of your collage – enlarging it, looking at each picture carefully – you did such a marvelous job – your photos are a symphony to Budapest and its religious buildings – the opera too, and all the impressions… what a treat!

    1. You're very kind and generous, Vagabonde. THANK YOU. I'm just glad I was able to pass on a bit of the incredible experience this was for us!