Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary
March 9, 2020
The first permanent bridge across the Danube river in Hungary is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, often just referred to as the Chain Bridge. It was built in 1849 and connects the cities of Buda and Pest, allowing the cities to join to become the capital of Hungary. It is credited as having changed Hungary by increasing it’s prosperity and cultural influence. The bridge connects the Széchenyi Square on the Pest side of the Danube with the Clark Adam Square on the Buda side and is a pedestrian bridge in addition to motorized traffic.
We crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge from the Pest district in order to go to Castle Hill in the Buda district. The funicular, or cable car, that takes you to the top of Castle Hill is located near the bridge, making it an easy way to walk from the old town of Pest to see the sights within the Castle District. The entrance to the bridge features sculptures of lions carved out of stone, which are quite impressive. The bridge was destroyed in 1945 by the Germans as they retreated, but the towers survived and the bridge was rebuilt and reopened in 1949.
The views from the bridge are quite stunning including views of the Danube River, the Parliament Building, Elizabeth Bridge, the Citadella, and Buda Castle. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is definitely one of the most visible landmarks in Budapest as it can be seen from all of the scenic overviews located on both sides of the river. When visiting Budapest, it is certainly worth taking the time to stroll across the bridge and enjoy the sights from either direction.