The Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest: Preserving the Memory of Tragedy

interior Holocaust Memorial Center
The Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest, Hungary, stands as a powerful testament to the devastating impact of the Holocaust on the Hungarian Jewish community. This renovated synagogue, known as the Pava Synagogue, is now a memorial and museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims and educating visitors about this dark period in history. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the history, exhibits, and significance of the Holocaust Memorial Center Budapest.

A Historic Synagogue Turned Memorial and Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Center is housed in the Pava Synagogue, which dates back to the 1920s. This former place of worship has been transformed into a national institution that serves as a memorial and museum. It was established by the Hungarian government in 1999 and opened to the public in 2004, making it the first Holocaust Memorial Center in Central Europe founded by a state.

Architecturally, the building is asymmetrical, symbolizing the distorted and twisted time of the Holocaust. Visitors enter through the entrance on Pava Street and ascend a set of stairs that lead to the exhibitions. The center features both permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as a research center where visitors can search for their family members and contribute to the growing database of names.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to the Holocaust Memorial Center is by public transport. You can take tram number 4 or 6 to “Mester utca / Ferenc körút” stop, and from there it’s a short walk to the Center. Alternatively, the Center is a short taxi ride from the city center.


The Holocaust Memorial Center is located at Páva Street, in Budapest’s 9th District. The building is a renovated synagogue, which stands as a solemn reminder of the vibrant Jewish community that once flourished in this area.

  • Address: Budapest, Páva u. 39, 1094 Hungary
  • Phone: +3614553333

What to Expect

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the imposing Glass Tower, which holds the names of the Hungarian Holocaust victims. Inside, you’ll find the main exhibition, which presents a chronological history of the Holocaust in Hungary. The exhibition is divided into several sections including pre-war Jewish life, the atrocities of the Holocaust, and the post-war Jewish community.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Center also hosts temporary exhibitions, lectures, and commemorative events. The Center also houses a Synagogue, a Wall of Victims, and the Memorial Garden, each with its own moving tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.

Why Visit

Visiting the Holocaust Memorial Center is a deeply moving experience. While it’s a stark reminder of the tragic events of the past, it also serves to educate and inspire, reinforcing the importance of tolerance and respect for all people. It’s a place where history is not just remembered but felt.