Andrassy ut is a long road that stretches from near the Basilica of St Steven all the way to Heroes’ Square at the entrance to City Park. The Hungarian State Opera House and the New Theatre are to be found here as well as a large range of shops, bars, cafes and museums.
The Alexandra Bookshop Cafe was an amazing experience. We did not visit for the books, or for the cakes, but just to gawp at the decor. I have been told that it has now closed down which is a real shame.
When I first entered the Synagogue I was surprised how churchey it seemed on the inside. It transpires that the architectcts were Christians and had never designed a Synagogue before and they incorporated a range of influences including North African Moorish on the outside and Romantic on the inside. The Synagogue and grounds have been renovated mainly from donations made by individuals, including Tony Curtis and Baroness Estee Lauder, as well as private companies
Unusually there is a cemetery in the quadrant of the synagogue. The reason for this becomes clear from the information provided as you wander around the grounds. Late in the Second World War the occupying German forces created a Ghetto where many Jewish people died and, with nowhere else to bury them, they were buried in the Synagogue grounds.
The grounds have memorials to those who were murdered by the Nazis. The Tree of Life, a metal memorial, where each metal leaf is inscribed with the name of one of the many victims. There are memorials to Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jewish people from being murdered by the Nazis, and to Sir Nicholas George Winton, the British ‘Schindler’ who rescued hundreds of children from the Nazis.
The museum has many interesting religious exhibits and artifacts relating to Jewish life.
This museum, dedicated to the composer Franz Liszt, has his personal items, furniture and musical instruments on display in his old apartment on the first floor. The building is also a music academy and has a concert hall next to his appartment. We timed our visit to take in a recital which was lovely.
This superb museum is appropriatley housed in the old AVH secret police building. Many activists were detained here and tortured and the museum focusses on atrocities commited by regimes in the 20th Century.
The first exhibit was a full size military tank in a pool of black oil at the entrance, a striking image. The displays were often harrowing and it was not a comfortable experience, nor should it be. No photos were allowed in the museum, click the link above to take you to the official website.
This handsome building houses important relics and exhibits from Hungary’s early history until the present day.