The Moorish styled Synagogue in Rumbach street, Budapest, is often presented as the sole work due in Hungary by the Austrian turn of the Century leading architect Otto Wagner. Well, strictly sense it is not exactly true, if we consider the plan for a beautiful Pest (Stadtverschönerungsplan für Pest with Hungarian architect Antal Honvery) and the plan for the Budapest Parliament presented in 1883 together with architects Moriz Kallina and Reszö Bernd. Anyway these two latter project never became reality and remained just projects.
On the Austrian Architectur Lexikon there’s also another building in Budapest attributed to Wagner. Accordingly to the site (http://www.architektenlexikon.at/de/670.htm):
um 1900 Miethaus „Industriehof“, Budapest, H, Bajcsi-Zsilinszky utca (mit Moriz Kallina)
Well, honestly I couldn’t find any evidence on the existence of such a building. I tried even on my copy of “Budapest epiteszeti topografia” but I wasn’t able to find any evidence of Otto Wagner’s works in Bajcsi-Zsilinszky utca.
Anyway, regardless of that phantom building (if someone has further information, please keep in touch and share ), the Synagogue in Rumbach utca (which actually really exists) is very interesting piece in the history of art.
Well, maybe it is not so outstanding per se: but it actually is considering it was one of the first important project executed by Otto Wagner (1868).
Surrounded by relatively small buildings, in a very strict street, the Moorish overall style of the façade (anyway without any baroque excess nor eclectic taste), the light red/yellow colors, the tall towers, constitute all contrasting elements.
While the façade is in an overall good shape and status, entering the Synagogue is a more painful experience. Just passed the entrance door, this is what we could see (really, no comment):
The entrance to the main lodge:
Looking upside, to the roof, quite impressive is the hexagonal cupola:
Again, colors are outstanding and the abstract floral decoration look like an anticipation of later development of Austrian Secession. Even more abstract form, which look like Wiener Werkstaette wallpaper (of course, ante litteram) fully decorate the interior walls of the Synagogue:
Once again, the wall, including decorations, is seriously damaged in some parts:
Light trough the Synagogue is filtered by some large decorated window: the overall luminosity is really good, considering the lack of other light sources other than the outside, and considering how much is strict Rumbach utca:
The pavement is completely gone: some marbles are collected in the angle of the Hexagonal structure:
The poor condition of the Synagogue is something which touch the hearth of art lover. We understand that actually the building is under reconstruction, and it is ok. Glad to hear this ? Well, there is a problem, actually. I paid visit to this Synagogue as late as summer 2007 and I took some pictures with an old Casio camera. Well, fortunately something is going better: at least, the box with the script “made in USSR (in Russian !) is finally disappeared:
Anyway is really frightening the fact that the stair is still there, and in about the same position !
Honestly, we are confident that the restoration will happen, one day. We rely on it, to finally being able to fully admire the early work of a future genius of modern architecture.