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