Chain Bridge, Budapest
One of the most beautiful suspension bridges in Europe – Szechenyi Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd) is located in Budapest. It connects two old parts of the city – Buda and Pest, which are located on different banks of the Danube. This is the first permanent Danube bridge in Hungary. It was built in 1849 and was named in honor of the famous politician and patron of the 19th century, Count István Széchenyi, who spent a lot of effort and money to build it. In those days, the grandiose structure was considered one of the wonders of the world. The Széchenyi Bridge played an important role in the economic life of Hungary. Today it is the most recognizable object and symbol of Budapest, easily recognizable on postcards.
History of the Chain Bridge
The construction of the chain bridge in Budapest was controversial. In the 19th century Hungarian engineers did not have experience in designing and constructing such structures. There were fears that the bridge supports could not withstand the broad, full-flowing currents of the Danube. Another reason for doubt was the financial side of the issue. Anyway, the bridge was built.
According to the legend, István Széchenyi not just because became the main patron of this large-scale project. In 1820, being a hussar captain, he received news of the death of his father, but could not get to Austria in time for a funeral. The reason for this was a thaw, because of which the ferry ride was impossible. After that, the Earl vowed to build a bridge. During the Second World War, Széchenyi was almost completely destroyed by the fascists. The reconstruction works were started in 1947.
It is worth noting that in the 19th century, the total cost of the Széchenyi Bridge was a fantastic sum for that time – 4.4 million forints. A person needed to pay to cross the bridge. So the pedestrian had to pay 1 kreuzer, and for the travel of the chariot – 5 kreuzers.
How to get there
From the side of Pest, the Széchenyi Bridge is located at the Gresham Palace, on the István Széchenyi Square. You can get here by tram № 2.
On Buda's side there is the Clark Adam Square, right next to the famous Zero Kilometer Stone. Here is the lower station of the Budapest cable car, which leads to the Buda Castle. The buses № 16 and № 105 run along the bridge, trams № 19 and 41 pass by.