A Travellerspoint blog

The Shoes

On the Danube Bank

sunny 10 °C

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In 2005 a memorial of bronze shoes was placed on the riverbank of the Danube, near the House of Parliament, to remember thousands of Hungarian Jews who were shot after being ordered to remove their shoes. This happened just before the end of World War II.

Posted by The Vickerage 12:42 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Dohany Synagogue

A devastating history

sunny 10 °C

We were told the story of the Hungarian Jews from 1850 to the present day by a young woman, probably younger than my daughters, who memorized all the facts of her half hour presentation without notes or pause. Construction of the largest synagogue in Europe, began in 1854 and by 1867 it had become a Neolog (reform) congregation.

During WWII the beautiful interior was destroyed and the building used to shelter horses for the Nazi's. Their flag was attached to the roof so it wouldn't be bombed.

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After the War the communists took over Hungary but when the communists left, the synagogue was restored.

Outside the synagogue is the memorial garden where we were shown the gravestones of the victims of the holocaust and the Tree of Life sculpture - an upside down steel menora that appears at first as a weeping willow tree:

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We also saw a glass installation but I will have to find out the name of it:

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Of all the sites visited during our cruise I think this was the most memorable because the story of European Jews is coherent, edifying and contains the roots of humanity's desire for a promised land of justice and peace.

Posted by The Vickerage 20:28 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Budapest by day

More castles and cathedrals

12 °C

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Hungary has been invaded so many times and so many lives have been lost trying to defend the nation they have remembered their heroes, at least the male ones, at Heroes Square. But every standing building is a tribute to their history and has its own story. Cathedrals such as St. Mathias Cathedral is covered inside with symbolic images such as this crow with the ring in its beak. Apparently the ring was stolen by such a crow and was found later however I can't remember by whom or how.

Hope to upload bigger pictures when we arrive at our hotel today.

Posted by The Vickerage 22:07 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Entering Budapest

A channel of lights

overcast

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While my photographs will never replicate the amazing view of lights on entering Budapest last night at 10:30, I attempt to capture it. We are stationed by the chain bridge and will explore the city this morning.

Posted by The Vickerage 22:06 Archived in Hungary Comments (3)

Bratislava

Slovakia

sunny 9 °C

This morning we visited the city and viewed the Bratislava Castle first. This huge palace started out as a watchtower against invaders and eventually became a palace for Maria Therese' daughter when the Hapsburgs ruled so many European nations. The Slovakian people so used to having external powers rule them they have that Kafkian sensibility that appreciates metaphor when freedom of thought is so dangerous. At the gates of the castle are these faceless and armless soldiers guarding the status quo.

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Posted by The Vickerage 04:32 Archived in Slovakia Comments (0)

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