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Szechenyi Lanchid (Chain Bridge)
This bridge crosses the Danube and joins Buda to Pest. On the Buda side the bridge is located at the foot of Castle District, on the Pest side it is located at the foot of Gresham Palace. Chain Bridge was the city’s first bridge and is a historical monument. It attracts many visitors especially at night when the bridge is beautifully illuminated. It is flanked by lions on each side.
Bridgehead of Chain Bridge
Sculpted by Janos Marschalko there are two massive stone lion's guarding the bridgehead of Chain Bridge. It is said that Janos was "heartbroken" because while sculpting the lions he forgot to give them tongues, so he drowned himself in the river. In all fairness to Janos, he did give the lion's tongues but you have to really get close to see them...
Chain Bridge, Danube from Buda Castle
This is the view you get from the southernmost vantage point on the Varhegy plateau in front of Buda Castle. The Chain Bridge and the River Danube are dominating the scene with the Parliament being visible in the background while Margaret Island is almost disappearing in the fog.
The direct way from the Siklo station and the Turul statue involves a lot of steps, but there is barrier-free access through a passage from the other side of the Castle.
The Chain Bridge
It took seven years to build the first bridge that connects Buda with Pest over the Danube. Opened in 1849 the Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) was considered to be one of the World wonders, and its importance is clear when we know that the next solid bridge over the Danube was as far away as Vienna.
The construction of the bridge was undertaken by Count István Szécheny, known as the “Greatest Hungarian” because of his ambitious state reforms and modernisation. The remarkable bridge structure was designed by the Englishmen William Thierney Clark. Its cast iron ornaments and structure still radiates the calm dignity and is the true monument to industrial achievements of the 19th Century Europe.
The popular (although not true) story says that the sculptor who did the stone sculptures of the lions, János Marsalkó, commited suicide after it was discovered that he has forgotten to carve their tongues and therefore they weren’t perfect.
The bridge was destroyed during the WWII bombings (as were all the others in Budapest) but was carefully reconstructed afterwards.
The most famous of Budapest bridges is the Chain Bridge (Lanchid), the first permanent span across the Danube built in mid-19th Century. But this is not the only bridge in Budapest worth seeing.
Definitely don't miss the Liberty (Independence) Bridge (Szabadsag hid) - originally called Franz Joseph Bridge after the Habsburg Emperor. This bridge was opened in 1896 as part of the Millennium celebrations. The design is an elegant masterpiece of engineering and in my opinion this bridge leaves the Chain bridge in the shadow. Elegant ironwork and the inclusion of several Turul birds (a mystical symbol in Magyar history) perched atop the bridge's pillars enhance its attractiveness all the more.
Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsebet hid) was built in 1960s on the place of the original turn of the century bridge which was too badly damaged by the Germans in 1945 to be reconstructed in its original form. Only the old piers were used as bases for the two towers holding the suspension cables. Its modern looking span has become a great modern addition over Danube between the Chain bridge and the Liberty bridge.
Other bridges include Margaret Bridge (Margit hid) built between 1872 and 1876 by a firm of Paris based engineers, unusual for the fact it turns at an angle in the middle point where it touches Margaret Island.
Petofi Bridge (Petofi hid) and Arpad Bridge (Arpad híd) are relatively modern structures lacking bigger aesthetic qualities.
Chain Bridge At Night
This view showing the Chain Bridge from Roosevelt ter in all its elegant glory is only possible during wintertime, the shoreline trees having lost their leaves then.
It is quite difficult for wheelchair users to get closer to the shore from the level that Roosevelt ter and also the Danube Promenade are on.
The Chain Bridge was the very first bridge to link the two cities of Buda and Pest. The bridge began construction in in 1842 and completed in 1849. The bridge today is a symbol of Hungarian liberty, primarily due to a demonstration in 1989 for freedom and independence.
The Bridge stretches over the Danube River at 375 meters long and 16 meters wide. At night the bridge is illuminated by thousands of great white lights.
The Chain bridge (Széchenyi Lánczhíd)
This is the first permanent bridge of Budapest. The count István Széchenyi initiated the construction, in 1839. Built on the plans of the english architect, William Thierney Clark, from 1842 to 1849. The 4 famous lion sculptures wich guard the bridge are Miklós Marschalkó`s works (1852).
The bridge was 2 times modified, and in 1945 the germans blew it up. Fortunatley it could be reconstructed in only 2 years, and it hasn`t been at all modified, mantaining it`s original beauty. Only the little houses (cashiers) on both sides of the bridge were pulled down, because crossing the bridge became free of charge for everyone.
At the Buda bridgehead you find the 0 km, from wich the distances on all the highways are counted.
Budapest's Most Famous Bridge
The Lanchid (Chain Bridge) is Budapest's signature bridge, the one you see in most of the pictures and postcards. A visit to Budapest must include a walk across it, and the obligatory picture with the Lions guarding it! The bridge is a focal point for many celebrations, including the national celebration in August. The bridge was lit blue as Hungary "voted" for entry into the EU as if it were ever in doubt). And it has been lit pink the last two years to raise breast cancer screening awareness.
See my travelogue for pictures of the bridge lit for different celebrations.
- Historical Travel
Danube: Szechenyi Chain Bridge
For some reason Budapest's Szechenyi Chain Bridge reminded me of the dramatic Menai Bridge that links the British mainland to the druidic island of Anglesey; one that I used to cross every summer as a boy en route to visiting my uncle in Holyhead. The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is equally dramatic, only for different reasons. Here it commands the center most point of Budapest's amazing riverside, linking the road from Hero's Square to the funicular up to Buda Castle. It's iconic and elegant, and looks amazing at night.
The likeness to the great Menai Bridge is not surprising, given that it was designed and built by British men. William Tierney Clark designed it in 1839, and Adam Clark, whom the square at the Buda end of the bridge is named after, supervised its construction until 1849 when it opened. The Chain Bridge was the first of its kind outside England, and also the first bridge of any kind in Budapest. The bridge itself was named after Szechenyi Lánchíd, whose concept the bridge was built after.
English engineers came to Budapest in the middle of the 19th century to build a gigantic bridge in accordance to the existing famous English suspension-bridges. This sensational bridge is still the eye-catcher of Budapest, especially when it is illuminated at night.
The Chain Bridge
This unusual bridge was built in the 19th century and is the first permanent bridge connecting 2 cities of Buda and Pest. The cables of the 380m long bridge are suspended over the top of 2 triumphal arches and fixed to underground chambers. The stone lions at both ends are local favourites. The sight of the Chain Bridge sparkling in a string of lights in its evening glory is captivating.
- Arts and Culture
Chain Bridge (Szechenyi lanchíd in hungarian) is maybe the most famous bridge in Budapest and the oldest one (the first permanent bridge).
It connects Adam Clark square and the Buda castle on the Buda side and Roosvelt square with the greesham palace on the Pest side.
The bridge is 202 meters long , and was built between 1840-1849.
The Lions on each side of the bridge are very famous and there is an anecdote about the lions :
Because of the height of the lions , the people can't see their tongues so they thought the sculpture forgot them.
When the people mocked him he jumped into the Danube and died.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
In front of the Roosevelt ter there is the fantastic Szechenyi-lanchid, Chain Bridge. It was the first bridge to connect Buda with Pest thanks to Istvan Szechenyi. This great bridge was built by the English engineer William T. Clark. The bridge is 380 metres long and there are chains connect to the pilons and at the beginning of each side of the bridge there are two lions made by Janos Marshalko. This bridge, like all the other bridge of Budapest was destroyed during the Second World War (1945) by the German. It was restored and to carry to its orinally beauty.
- Historical Travel
The Chain Bridge - Széchenyi Lánchíd
The chain bridge is one of the iconic images which identifies Budapest. It's not actually that old as it was only started in the middle of the nineteenth century (it is a suspension bridge after all!) but it was the longest bridge in Europe at the time of it's construction. It was also the first permanent bridge linking Buda with Pest and so played a major part in the unification of the city and it's development. The bridge was commissioned by Count István Széchenyi but was designed by British William Tierney Clark and built by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark (they weren't related). A plaque at the Pest end of the bridge says that this is one of only two of William Tierney Clark's bridges survive - this one and the bridge over the Thames at Marlow which has a very similar design.
Besides being a landmark in itself and a useful way to get between the main sightseeing areas of Pest and Buda there are also some great photo opprtunities to be had from the bridge - day or night.
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