The “little synagogue” on the Rumbach Sebestyén utca in Budapest, Hungary. Built in 1872 by Otto Wagner, it has been unused from 1959 on. The roof came down in 1979, and after that the synagogue was used by homeless people as a shelter. In the 1990s its restoration started, but due to lack of money only the facade and the roof could be repaired. As of today, it’s open for public and still waiting for the restoration to be continued.
Not too many people wander in, though. It’s on a side street, and most people go to the big and famous Dohány street synagogue around the corner. In fact, I thought the Rumbach street synagogue was fully abandoned, which is why it originally attracked me so much.
Then one day I noticed a man at the cash desk, paid my 500 ft and went in. The atmosphere was eerie but oddly beautiful and calm. The place is in the middle of the city, but the walls block sound very well and your footsteps are pretty much the only noise there. Inside there are miscellaneous religious items piled next to the walls, some very thorough information boards and beautiful wall ornaments with sad-looking water damage.
Photos by me.