Chain Bridge, an historical gem of Budapest
Architecture & Design

Chain Bridge, an historical gem of Budapest

Széchenyi Chain Bridge,Ungheria

Chain Bridge, an historical gem of Budapest

Known as "the Chain Bridge" or as the Hungarians call it - "Széchenyi Lánchíd", this structure is one of the most important and ancient symbols of Budapest. It is an engineering work that connected Buda and Pest for the first time since the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. Once divided by the Danube, Buda and Pest were finally connected in 1849. The bridge spans 375 meters in length, 16 meters in width and has a central span of over 200 meters. It was the first of the eight bridges that to date cross the river in Budapest.

Before its construction, those who wanted to travel across the banks of the Danube would do so on wooden barges and in the winter, they would instead walk on the frozen surface of the river, provided that the temperatures were sufficiently low. These makeshift methods, made it easy to get stuck on the wrong side of the river, dependent on sudden climate changes. Necessity is the mother of invention, and in 1820 when Count István Széchenyi was unable to cross the river to attend his father's funeral, he decided to establish a foundation to finance the construction of a permanent bridge.

The project was entrusted to the English engineer William Tierney Clark and supervised by the Scottish Adam Clark, while the imposing stone lions guarding both ends were sculpted in 1852 by János Marschalkó. The bridge, built in stone, owes its name to the long-wrought iron chains that connect the two towers, representing the indissoluble union of two realities, the bond of two souls committed to playing a very important historical role for the city.

The Chain Bridge, like all other Budapest bridges, was destroyed by the Germans during the Second World War, but was quickly rebuilt and reopened in 1940, exactly 100 years after the date of its first inauguration. Today, this splendid monument stands in all its beauty, a symbol of great patriotic pride for all Hungarians. It is an unmissable show, giving every traveler the poetic image of a timeless world.

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