The grand Dohany St. synagogue complex in Budapest has been chosen as one of nine historical sites in Europe given the EU’s “European Heritage Label.”
The sites were chosen for the list by an independent panel for “celebrating or symbolizing the fight for European ideals, values, history and integration” and were selected out of 25 nominees.
The European Commission will formally designate the sites in February 2018, with an award ceremony in March 2018. The nine new site bring to 38 the number of sites given the “label” in the past four years.
In addition to the Dohany St. synagogue, the other sites chosen are: Leipzig’s Musical Heritage Sites (Germany); Fort Cadine (Italy); Javorca Church (Slovenia); the former Natzweiler concentration camp and its satellite camps (France and Germany); the Sighet Memorial (Romania); the Bois du Cazier (Belgium); the Village of Schengen (Luxembourg) and the Maastricht Treaty (the Netherlands).
The commission called the Dohany Synagogue complex “a symbol of integration, remembrance and openness to dialogue.”
The synagogue, built in the 1850s for the Neolog community, is the largest synagogue in Europe and a city landmark with twin towers, a striped brick exterior, lavishly decorated interior, and Moorish-style features.
The synagogue complex includes the Jewish Museum and Archives, the Heroes Synaogue — a memorial to Jewish Hungarian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI, and a courtyard and garden used as a cemetery and memorial for the victims of the Holocaust.