Street entrance, and view of Zsigmond utca synagogue from gates, Budapest

Front views of the Zsigmond utca synagogue, Budapest

Aerial view of Zsigmond utca synagogue, Budapest, from a brochure


...My last day in Budapest, so head out in the morning rush to try to get to the little Zsigmond utca schul in Buda before my train. By 86 bus to Zsigmond ter, the schul said to be in the vicinity, although I donít have the address. All I know is that it is dwarfed by tall buildings on both sides, and the rear overlooks Margit Island in the Danube.

I take about five minutes to find it, the entrance on Frankel Leo utca, concealed behind an arched gateway, the front of the small church like synagogue beyond a covered courtyard. The gates are locked, but a light shines from within the schul, and the door is open, it being in the midst of the High Holy days.

The building sits like an egg yolk within an egg, surrounded by a shell of apartment buildings, towering over it, and enclosing it on all sides but the rear, where a glimpse of the schul can be seen. It is of a light red brick with white trim and red roof, the surrounding buildings in a contrastingly dull grey, with Mogen David designs over some of the windows. A very unusual, indeed quite startling synagogue. A little gem hiding from the world.

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