Jews and the City

Budapest is the cultural, political and economic center of Hungary. Neither before nor after the golden age of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was Budapest considered a genuinely European metropolis. The cityscape its residents are so proud of until today was formed during this period. The Budapest of the time was a continuously and rapidly growing multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic city, where modernization and Hungarianization walked hand in hand.

The turn of the century Budapest was therefore the joint achievement of Christians and Jews, Hungarians, Austrians, Germans, Romanians, Slovaks and South Slavs. Obviously, Jews were not the only ones were behind this success story, without them however the city would never have turned out to be what it became. Not only did Jews take their share of shaping modern metropolitan life (media, high and popular culture, sports and entertainment) but they also played an essential role in shaping the cityscape as property investors, architects and contractors. The map shows some good examples of the above, sites located in the World Heritage Site and surrounding areas of Budapest. The list is far from exhaustive, it demonstrates however what Budapest would have lost had it not been for its Jewish residents.