Below are some interesting sights to get you excited for the 2019 European Maccabi Games!

Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium

Inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, Alfréd Hajós of Hungary, is one of the greatest swimmers and most successful Olympians of his time.. First participating in the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece, Hajós won two gold medals in 100-meter freestyle and 1,200-meter freestyle;his accomplishments  made him the youngest winner in those Olympic Games. The next day Greek newspapers were depicting Alfréd with the subtitle: “Hungarian Dolphin.” After studying architecture, Hajós designed his own stadium and entered the designs into the art competition at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games. Hajós won a silver medal in sport and art during these Games making him one of only two Olympians to win medals in both. The most famous facility designed by Hajós is none other than the national swimming stadium in Budapest.

Touted as “Water Polo’s Sacred Site,” the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium is one of the most iconic water-sport venues in the world. A unique presence can be felt throughout due to the passion and rich history the Hungarian people have in water polo. Once inside, marble plates with names of Hungary’s Olympians remind you of their successful past. The facility has four floors and eight pools, including training pools, a diving pool, and competitive swimming pools for both short and long course. This legendary venue provides for participants and spectators alike the water-sport experience of a lifetime.

“Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Complex.” WeLoveBudapest EN, welovebudapest.com/en/venue/alfred-hajos-national-swimming-complex-2/.

“Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium: Water Polo’s Sacred Site.” Total Waterpolo, 8 July 2017, total-waterpolo.com/alfred-hajos-national-swimming-stadium-water-polos-sacred-site/.

Dozsa Gyorgy Street Synagogue

The original building was designed by the renowned architect, Lipót Baumhorn in 1908. Baumhorn designed many buildings for Jewish worship specifically in the Jewish communities of the Angyalföld neighborhood of Budapest. After slight deteriorations of the centrally built, domed building in 1945, a smaller, separate prayer house and the courtyard received the bulk of the attention for prayer and worship.

The Dózsa György Street Synagogue has been servicing the community as a location for sports activities since 1980. The structure is currently occupied and utilized by the Budapest Honvéd Sport Association for the purposes of their boxing and fencing classes. Behind the synagogue, religious activities still take place in the courtyard, which was originally intended to be a cultural hall. The historically simple architecture and rich yellow, blue, brown, and red decorative painting are matched by the fact that the building has not experiencing significant alterations since the 1930s.

“Budapest’s Most Spectacular Synagogues.” WeLoveBudapest EN, welovebudapest.com/en/toplists/budapests-most-spectacular-synagogues/.

“Dózsa György (Aréna) Road Synagogue.” Pinterest, Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/445786063087460188/?lp=true.

Sziget Festival

Often referred to as the European alternative to the Burning Man festival, the Sziget Festival is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, with more than 1,000 performances taking place each year at Old Buda Island on the Danube. The Sziget was ranked one of the five best festivals in Europe, as well as winning the award for Best Major European Festival at the European Festival awards, twice.

The revitalization of the formerly lively summer festival scene in Budapest, whose popularity decreased in the late-1980s due to a lack of government funding, was spearheaded by a group of artists and music enthusiasts whom proposed the Sziget event to bridge this gap. Now, the “Sziget Fesztivál” is held every year. The week-long festival has evolved from a low-profile student event to become one of the prominent European festivals, with about half of all visitors coming from outside of Hungary.

“Hidden Treasures of Budapest, Hungary.” Shoes at the River Danube (Budapest) / Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust, www.greatsynagogue.hu/syns.html.

For more information and applications for the 2019 European Maccabi Games click here!

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