Mediaeval Jewish Chapel 

Address: Táncsics Mihály utca 26. Budapest, 1014

 


Opening hours: 10.00-14.00 -  Monday, Tuesday closed

 

Admission fees:

 

Adults - 800 Ft, students: 400 Ft

 


About the Synagogue:

 

One of the synagoues of the late medieval and Turkish epoch in the Jewish quarter of Buda (formerly called Jewish street) built at the end of 14 century can be seen on the ground – floor of the house No.26. at Mihály Táncsics street in Buda Castle.

 

The discovery and reconstruction of this valued synagogue which divided with pillars on the southern side and preserves the stone framed windows of the former women’s oratory took place during the monumental building research in 1964. (Architect: H. Melinda Papp)

 

On the walls of the building Hebrew inscriptions and representations from 7 century also came to light following the research. One of the pictures painted on the wall shows an upturned bow and arrow the other is the star of King David. The text to be read in the picture with the bow is a sentence from the prayer of Hanna: „The strong man of hand bow will be corrupted and the powerless will be set up with Power.” The six pointed star of David is accompanied by the text of sacerdotal benediction from the Old Testament: „…The Lord shall bless you, and hold you.”

 

According to Professor Sándor Scheiber the inscriptions and pictures date from the 17th century. The contents of the inscriptions refer to the reasonable fear of the Jews from the Christian attacks.

 

In the southern room of the building, one of the significant collections of the Budapest History Museum can be seen: here the Jewish tombstones are displayed from the Middle Ages and Turkish times, which were brought to light in Buda. However, the series of tableaux placed on the wall of the synagogue remind us of the life and history of Jews in Buda.

 

The city of Buda shortly after its foundation already had a considerable number of Jewish citizens also from the middle of 13th century. The privilege regulating the legal standing of the Hungarian Jews was issued by King Béla IV. in 1251. It’s understandable that while in Western Europe Jews were exposed to many persecutions they willingly went to live in Hungary, in the freedom of worship, the electoral right of priest and judge, as well as their right to maintain the House of Prayer and it also settled their social and economic standing.

 

The Jewish quarter of the 13th century was situated on the western side of the present Szent György street, neighboring the Fehérvári Gate, which at that time was called the Jewish Gate. Their cemetery was at the foot of the hill, at the corner of today’s Tunnel and Pauler streets. From this cemetery a number of medieval tombstones were brought to light, the oldest one among them dated from 1278.

 

The early Jewish quarter was liquidated in 1360, when, King Lajos the Great (Anjou) expelled the Jews. They were allowed again to return to Buda and then their new quarter was established along the two sides of today’s M. Táncsics street the large House of Prayer was built in 1461, which was destroyed in 1686. The impressive ruins of the monumental splendid temple were discovered by László Zolnay, the archeologist of the Budapest History Museum in the garden of No. 23. M. Táncsics street. The ruins of the building were filled up with earth again for technical reasons, but their new unearthing and showing to the public are included in the general development plan of the Castle district. Until that is done, its reconstructed picture and magnificent Late-Gothic keystone are shown here, at the exhibition of the „small synagogue” and its enormous pillars of the „Large synagogue” are set up in the courtyard of this house.