zsinagóga synagogue Dohány utca street
Photo: M3peti / wikipedia

According to MTI.hu, the Great Synagogue in Dohány Street is also among the 9 sites nominated for the European Heritage Label. Based on the information of the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (MAZSIHISZ), the necessary documentation was prepared by the Hungarian Jewish Communities.

The Great Synagogue was nominated for the label as a complex with the belonging museum, the archive, the memorial set up for the commemoration of the Hungarian Jewish soldiers who died in World War I, the garden preserving the remains of the victims of the holocaust, and the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park. Therefore, Hungary could have the 3rd site on the European Heritage list along with the Pan-European Picnic Memorial Park in Sopron and Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.

The Holocaust Memorial is a weeping willow tree with the names of Hungarian Jews killed during the Holocaust inscribed on each leaf. /wikicommons by Sveter/

This year, several sites from various countries have been nominated for the label:

  • the musical history sites (Germany)
  • the Fort Cadine (Italy)
  • the Javorca Chapel (Slovenia)
  • the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp and its smaller camps (France and Germany)
  • the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance (Romania)
  • Bois du Cazier, a once coal mine (Belgium)
  • Schengen village (Luxembourg)
  • Maastricht Treaty (the Netherlands)

According to the announcement of the Prime Ministry, the Great Synagogue of Budapest is the largest synagogue in Europe and the 2nd largest in the world. It symbolizes integration, commemoration and the openness towards dialogue in the history of Europe.

The European Heritage Label was set up with the aim to foreground the common European heritage, strengthen the communal identity and stabilize the dialogues between cultures. They award the sites playing an important role in the creation of the European cultural identity, reports turizmus.com. From this perspective, the Great Synagogue in Dohány Street is a perfect choice.

The Dohány Street Synagogue iside
Photo by Guavin Pictures

In 2017, 19 states applied for the label among which 25 sites have been eventually shortlisted. The final 9 sites nominated for the award have been selected by the European Commission. The Commission is going to give officially the label to the sites in February 2018, while the award ceremony is going to take place in March 2018, in Bulgaria.

In the announcement of Mazsihisz to the MTI, the Great Synagogue of Budapest is considered to be the most important, the largest and the most monumental memorial of the Hungarian Jews in their process of becoming Hungarians.

Furthermore, it is inspired by the “the Jewish traditions, the Hungarian national awakening and the heritage of the European Age of Enlightenment.”

Raoul Wallenberg memorial /wikcommons by Bence Damokos/

The synagogue is also one of the most visited tourist destinations of Budapest that encompasses traditions and modernity and reminds us of the cohabitation of the Jewish and the non-Jewish Hungarians. Thus, it is especially important that, exactly 150 years after the equal rights guaranteed to the Hungarian Jews, this building might become the part of the European cultural heritage.

Cemetery at Great Synagogue in Dohány Street, Budapest./wikicommons by Sveter/

The nomination, to which the documentation was prepared by the Hungarian Jewish Communities who also sent it to the Hungarian government, was announced by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, on Monday evening in Brussel, at the opening ceremony of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Featured image: photo: M3peti / wikipedia

Source: turizmus.com; MTI

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