Friday, June 19, 2009

Budapest -- Night of the Museums Includes Jewish Sites

Wintertime view of the Dohany st. Synagogue. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

The Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest are participating in the annual "Night of the Museums" -- which this year takes place Saturday night, that is, tomorrow, June 20. Museums all around the country will stay open late -- sometimes very late, even all night -- and will feature a variety of special programs and events. I'm told that it is the first time that Jewish community operations are taking part.

The Jewish Museum is located next door to the splendid Dohany St. Synagogue (which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary), in an annex built in the 1930s on the spot where Theodore Herzl was born. There will be jazz, classical, Gypsy and Klezmer music and special exhibits, games, guided tours and other activities.

Hungarian Jewish Museum
1077 Budapest, Dohány utca 2.

Music of Happiness, gypsy-jewish music festival at the Night of the Hungarian Jewish Museum
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Hungary is participating first time on the Budapest event „Night of the Museums”. You will have the opportunity to hear concerts, literary conversations and to visit on free guided tours in the Jewish Museum and on Herzl square from 22:00 till the morning.

Full Jewish Museum program

The program at the Holocaust Memorial Center, on Pava street, just outside the city center, looks even more interesting. The center is a striking modern building -- it looks as if it should be in a German expressionist film -- built around the restored Pava Street synagogue, designed by my favorite architect, the prolific Lipot Baumhorn. (I have written extensively about L-B, who is one of my heroes.) Anyone in town should try to see the concert by the great Roma cimbalom player Kalman Balogh, which runs from 8 p.m. til midnight. Kalman takes part this summer in "the Other Europeans" project, and later this month and in July will be performing with that group -- mixed Yiddish and Gypsy musicians -- in Vienna, Krakow and Weimar, Germany.

Holocaust Memorial Center
1094 Budapest, Páva utca 39.
Phone: Telefon: +36 1 455-3333 | Web:

On the Night of Museums, there is a lively mood beginning from the afternoon. Family programs entertain the smallest ones, special guided tours begin every hour in Hungarian, English and German. From 6 o’clock we take visitors back to the world of old newsreels, we investigate – with the help of a discussion – the responsibility of the media then and today. The evening is devoted to music and dance. You can listen to klezmer, gipsy and jazz, and dance with a champion of swing. If you feel like doing so, you can change books and ideas in the History Corner, or glance into the Mirror of Tolerance. Hungry and thirsty wanderers can refresh themselves in the Bar of Acceptance.

Full program here

Holocaust Memorial Center. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

1 comment:

  1. I think museum are the best place to saw the history. I hope so you enjoy a lot and learned more about history.your post will encourage people to regular visiting the museums.