Chain Bridge (Lánchíd)

Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) (21)

The Chain Bridge is one of the oldest in the city and also probably the most spectacular. Built between the years 1839 and 1849, it was deigned by Adam and Tierney William Clark.

When it was finished this bridge became famous for two reasons: firstly for being the first crossing between Buda and Pest and secondly because the aristocracy had to pay a toll to use it, something unheard of at the time. 

However, the bridge you see today is not the 19th century original. During the War of Independence the Austrian general Hentzi tried to blow the structure up but failed to do so when Adam Clark flooded the chambers where the explosives had been placed. However, during the Second World War, the bridge was not so lucky and was eventually destroyed. It was rebuilt and opened again on the 20th of November 1949, exactly one hundred years after its initial inauguration. 

Another of the well-known events connected to the mythical ´Chain Bridge` is one from 1867 when Emperor Francis Joseph made his oath at the base of the structure on the Pest side of the river, before heading over to ´Castle Hill` where he was crowned king of Hungary.   

Make sure you take note that the bridge is supported by two towers and guarded by two lion sculptures. It is said that these lions were created without tongues after the sculptor János Marshalko forgot to put them in. The story is not strictly true however, each one does indeed have a small tongue that you can only seen by standing exactly in front of them.

From the same bridge you have a beautiful view of both sides of the city, as well as the other bridges that cross the river. What’s more, you can observe the castle and fishermen’s bastion from below. This site is one of the most photographed and visited by tourists and by night perhaps becomes even more beautiful because it is lit up. 

During the last few years the ´Summer on the Chain Bridge` event has been held here at weekends from the end of June to the middle of August. Pedestrians take over the bridge and concerts, acts, workshops and plays are put on. What a great idea in such a unique and splendid spot.

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