Name: Chain Bridge
Category: Architecture, castles and historic districts
Location: 1013 Budapest, Lánchíd
Széchenyi Bridge, or the Chain Bridge, is the oldest in the city. Built between 1839 and 1849 under the aegis of Count István Széchenyi, it is now considered the symbol of the city. Two British engineers, William Thierney Clark and Adam Clark, were entrusted with the project. The fine classical stone and iron structure has a 380m span, is 15.70m wide, and is magnificently lit at night. Two stone lions on pedestals keep proud watch over either end of the bridge.
Good to know about the Chain Bridge
- Chain Bridge was the first permament bridge over the Danube connecting Buda and Pest and setting the unification of the two cities in motion
- Count Istvan Szechenyi came up with the idea of a permanent bridge after being stranded in Pest for weeks because of the hard winter of 1820
- Construction, financed by Szechenyi, begun in 1836 and finished during the Hungarian War of Indepencence against Austria in 1849. The first ones crossing the bridge were Hungarian soilders
- Szechenyi collapsed mentally in 1848 and was unable to see his dream come true
- The Germans blew up the bridge in the siege of Budapest (1945); it was rebuilt in its original form by 1949, 100 years after its first opening
- The bridge takes its name after the huge chains that hold it up
- Two lions guard the bridge on both bridgeheads. According to the legend the sculptor jumped in the river after a boy pointed out on the official opening ceremony that the lions had no tongues
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