Front and back exteriors of Rumbach synagogue, Budapest

Detail of front exterior, and barricaded door, Rumbach synagogue, Budapest

Entrance, Rumbach synagogue, Budapest

Plaque, Rumbach synagogue, Budapest

Detail of door decoration, Rumbach synagogue, Budapest


...Around the corner to the large old schul on Sebestyén Rumbach utca, now seemingly derelict, the entrance stairs crumbling, and doors boarded up. However you can see a glimpse through the boards and metal screen, of the beautiful gold glass of the rose window at the sanctuary end of the building.

There is beautiful exterior decoration on this schul, with the similar striped brickwork that can be seen on the Dohany utca synagogue. Two minaret-style octagonal turrets tower over the street, and can be seen from quite a distance away. The façade is a sumptuous mix of cream, red and green, with oriental-style arches, and some intricate leadwork on windows incorporating Stars of David.

The Rumbach synagogue was designed by the Austrian architect Otto Wagner, and was built in romantic style in 1872. According to my notes, the round hall inside features two huge balconies for women congregants, arched windows, and semi-domes. The interior is very richly decorated. Unfortunately, the Rumbach schul is no longer used for services, and is not open to the public at all. But apparently the reconstruction is to be completed.

I go around to the back of the building, in the hope that I can see something of the rose window. To the back of the block, and by an alleyway which passes through the lobby of a modern office block, trying not to be noticed by the security guard on duty at his desk.

And so, behind the schul, a yard surrounded by buildings, and not one but several large round windows, presumably brightly coloured but this not visible from the outside. Also the back of the synagogue shows signs of renovation, with some new pale yellow paintwork over smoothly repaired walls. Hope for the future...

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