Budapest Bridges (hidek), Budapest
One good thing when doing a river cruise, is that you get a close up view of the Bridges along the River.
Many of them have interesting statues, that are easiest seen from the water. Margaret Bridge, a French Neo-Baroque bridge, was one of them. The building of this bridge began 20 years after the inauguration of the Chain Bridge. It was another bridge where a design competition was held.
Only 43 applicants put forward plans for the new bridge.
The outcome - French architect Ernest Gouin was the winner and so, work began on this beautiful Parisienne-stlye arch bridge in 1872. Finally, it was opened to traffic in April 1876.
In the 1880s, four permanent custom-houses were built and a horse tramway line crossed the bridge until and electric tramway took over in 1894.
During World War II in 1944, the three Pest side pillars were blown up, and some Buda parts were blown up by retreating German troops.
So, the Margaret Bridge had to be re-constructed and opened to traffic in November 1947
Ornate statues were carved by French sculptor Thabard in 1874, and can be easily viewed when on a cruise. A plaque at the southern side of the central pillar, commemorates the date of the construction, as well as the name of the designer.
Margaret Bridge - It connects Szent István Boulevard and Margit Boulevard, also gives access to Margaret Island.
I am talking about the stone Lions, the work of sculptor János Marschalkó, who guard the Chain bridge on either side. These big fella's that don't look too aggressive, have a legend about them.
According to legend, the sculptor threw himself in the river when, during the bridge's opening ceremony, a spectator proclaimed that the lions had no tongues. Luckily, he survived and went to live a longer life, AND the Lions do have tongues, just not that easy to see!
The Chain Bridge - You most probably would have read or heard about it before coming here, as it's one of Budapest's most famous landmarks.
Originally known as Széchenyi lánchíd, it was named after count István Széchenyi. The Count ordered the Bridge to be built, after missing his father's funeral when the ferry service across the Danube was halted due to bad weather. The Chain bridge was built and opened to traffic in 1849
It was the first permanent Bridge built across the river, joining Buda & Pest to make one city - Budapest.
At the time, the suspension bridge was the longest in Europe. People admired this suspension bridge which had two towers supporting the spans of giant iron chains, hence the name "Chain Bridge." A look at the bridge towers reveal the Hungarian coat of arms.
The Austrians tried to destroy it in 1848, during the War of Independence. The Germans blew the Bridge up at the end of WWII in 1945, hoping to halt the progress of the Red Army. It was rebuilt exactly the same as the original. The bridge is also a symbol of independence and was the site of demonstrations during the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.
Making our way by car into the centre of Budapest, meant that some-where, we had to cross the River Danube. We were travelling along Rakoczi street when the Elizabeth Bridge appeared before us.
Elizabeth Bridge was named after Queen Elizabeth, [not the English Queen] but the spouse of Francis Joseph I who was assassinated in Geneva in 1898. There have been two Elizabeth bridges as German troops blew the first one up at the end of World War II, on 18 January 1945. The design of the first bridge, was chosen through an international design competition for its construction. The construction of the bridge was started in 1897.
When completed, the old Elizabeth Bridge had a middle span of 290 metres, allowing it to lay claim to "the bridge with the largest span in the world," title it held for 23 years.
When the bridge was blown up in WWII, a new Elizabeth Bridge was to be built. This didn't happen until 1960-1964. The new suspension bridge was built with modern lines, but the original pillars were used. To commemorate the reconstruction of the bridge, two identical plaques have been placed at the southern part of the pillars in Pest and in Buda.
It has been declared, the Elizabeth Bridge is the most elegant bridge of Budapest.
It is quite attractive, but I didn't manage to see all the Budapest bridges, of which there are quite a few.
Fondest memory: The oldest bridge in Budapest. It is one of the Hungarian National symbol. It was built from 1842-1849 by Ádám Clark civil engineer. At that time it was the second fixed bridge in the whole line of River Danube (first was in Wien). Today in summer time sometimes it is closed for local festivals.
Fondest memory: It is a busy square in weekday in Budapest. In summer time sometimes it has closed for local festivals. The square connect the Budai Váralagút (Buda Castle Tunnel) with Lánchíd (Chain Bridge). The denominator is Adam Clark (1811-1866) civil engineer from Scotland. He planned the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle Tunnel.
This is one of the best known churches in Budapest. you find it on the Szilágyi Dezső square right on the bank of the Danube, almost in front of the Parliament building. Impossible to miss it with it`s its caracteristic shape and rooftop. It was built in neo-gothic-secessionist style among 1892 and 1896 according to Samu Petz`s plans, thanks to the contribution of the Capitol and the protestants of Budapest.
The tower wich looks like a minareth is 65 metres tall and it never shades the church itself. The rooftop is covered by Zsolnay pyrogranit cheramics.
The Liberty bridge opened in 1896, in the year of the Hungarian Millennium. Its green metal structure makes it quite different from all the other Budapest bridges. The bridge connects Gellert ter in Buda (where you find the Hotel Gellert and the Gellert Spa) and the Fovam ter in Pest (with the Central Market Hall, a great place to shop for food, and the Budapest Corvinus University, where I got my degrees :-)).
Oh, I almost forgot: Liberty bridge is quite popular with suicidal people. About 30 people climb up to the 'turul' birds each year to commit suicide (although practically all of them change their mind on the top, and firefighters have to bring them down, closing down the bridge and stopping traffic in half of the city at the same time).
This city is fill by Danibe river that splits the city in two, but joining it at the same time. Danube as sea in some other cities gives an other dimension and become a more beautiful city and a breath in the middle of huge streets and squares..
About 6 bridges cross the Danube the most famous it is (on this pic), but there are 2 more southern that deserve the visit, Erzs?bet and Szabads?g Hid (or bridge)
Southwards from the most famous brige (Szechenyi) there is this dark green one who runs from Gellert area in Buda to central streets in Pest and further away to Rakozci and Keleti
It was my fault i didnt see Gellert but i walk at night from Deli station to this bridge, where by the way if you need to take the bus is just after crossing to Pest almost under the bridge, so i saw some former buildings beneath wester side buda castle , a different point of usual view ..always from the river and Pest side!
Budapest is famous for its Danube bridges. Buda on the western bank and Pest on the eastern bank of the river are united by these bridges.The main bridges in the city centre from north to south are:
Arpad hid and Margit hid at the Margaret Island, the famous Szechenyi Lanchid (Chain Bridge), the white Erzsebet hid (Elisabeth Bridge) and the forest-green Szabadsag hid (Freedom Bridge).
If I had to show just one thing to somebody in Budapest, I would just take them on the river and show them the bridges. Huge bridges spanning over Danube, each one with its own history and beauty, are definately a trademark of this city.
Fondest memory: Definately walking around Chain bridge and it's beautiful monumentar architecture. Standing at its middle, looking at Buda on one side and Pest on the other, it's definately the best experience in the city.
Szabadsag hid was built in 1896 to the Millennium. Its original name was Ferenc Jozsef hid. Franz Josef was the kaiser of the Monarchy that time. The Kaiser drove the last nail into the bridge.
The bridge was explosed in the WWII, but after that is was rebuilt by the original plan and named to Szabadsag hid.
The new Elizabeth Bridge on 15th March and the Gellert Hill on back. The old bridge was nicer, but unfortunately it was explosed in the WWII on 18th January 1945. The new one is only 40 years old.
To see the old Elizabeth Bridge, click here.
To see the explosed old Elizabeth Bridge, click here.
The Chain Bridge (Lanchid) on 15th March. 15th March is a National Holiday in Hungary to the memory of Revolution and Independence War of 1848-1849.
On back, You can see a part of the Buda Castle and the funicular which brings You up/down to/from the Buda Castle.
In front, there is our "national lion" and on back, our "national bird", called Turul, tries to fly away.