Hungary

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

2019-08-11

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Designed by the English engineer William Tierney Clark and built by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary. It was opened in 1849.



It is anchored on the Pest side of the river to Széchenyi (formerly Roosevelt) Square, adjacent to the Gresham Palace and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and on the Buda side to Adam Clark Square, near the Zero Kilometre Stone and the lower end of the Castle Hill Funicular, leading to Buda Castle.



The bridge has the name of István Széchenyi, a major supporter of its construction, attached to it, but is most commonly known as the "Chain Bridge". At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders.



It has asserted an enormous significance in the country's economic, social and cultural life, much as the Brooklyn Bridge has in New York and the US. Its decorations made of cast iron, and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, have elevated the Chain Bridge to a high stature in Europe.



It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.



The bridge opened in 1849, after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, becoming the first permanent bridge in the Hungarian capital. At the time, its centre span of 202 metres (663 ft) was one of the largest in the world.



The lions at each of the abutments were carved in stone by the sculptor János Marschalkó and installed in 1852. They are similar in design to the bronze lions of Trafalgar Square (commissioned 1858, installed 1867). The bridge was given its current name in 1898.



TIPS

*Location: In Budapest.
*Duration: 10 minutes.
*Best time: At night.

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