Similarly to other magnificent cities and capitals, Budapest also has a considerable river to be bridged over, in order to make traffic efficient and fluent. The presence of the Danube River was a great advantage throughout centuries for the city itself to develop, and it proved to be useful in many ways for the citizens too. However, with the passing of time, it was evident that, sooner or later, it would be inevitable to build bridges over the Danube. The increased population together with resulting traffic and trading, as well as the real need to reach faster Pest from Buda, and reversely, got bigger and bigger. Therefore, in the 19th century, the time had come, and the first bridge of the Hungarian capital was built -the rest is history. In this article, I will show you Budapest’s main bridges, that make Hungary’s capital the second most beautiful city in the world, according to a recently issued poll on worldchacha.com. Let’s see which historical constructions clinched the reputation of the vanguard of bridging obstacles for Budapest.
One of Budapest's most significant symbols was launched on 20th November 1849, after a 10-year-long construction. The project was initiated by Count István Széchenyi, “the Greatest Hungarian”, who was the Minister of Public Works and Transport at that time. Its costs were so tremendous that people needed even to pay for using it. One of the main founders was a Greek nobleman, Georgios Sinas. The bridge got blown up by the Germans when they retreated in World War II, but for the centenary of the bridge in 1949, the fascinating construction was relaunched. Since then, changes worth mentioning weren’t happened, except for it got new, modern lighting for the bridge’s 150th birthday, and with a little delay, the emblems of the communism also got removed. Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the favourite of tourists, as it usually got shut down for noble goals. Its well-known earmarks are the famous lions, the artworks of János Marschalkó, one of the most wanted Hungarian building sculptors of the 19th century.
This was the second permanent bridge in the capital city, made of stone of Budapest. The plans were ought to a French person, namely Ernest Goüin. Margaret Bridge was opened in 1876, but it got its current shape only in 1937. Trams are an everyday sight on it since 1894, and it’s known as the only bridge that got blown up twice during World War II. The first time it occurred accidentally on 4th November 1944 , and the death toll was huge, as it happened during the rush hour. The second was already a purposeful German's blast on 18th January 1945, which utterly destroyed the bridge. Fortunately, only three years were sufficient to rebuild and newly launch it.
Liberty Bridge connects Budapest’s two famous sights, the Gellért Hotel and the Central Market Place. The construction of the bridge was finished for the millennium of the Hungarian State, 1896. Its original name was Franz Joseph Bridge, after the first ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, who even hammered the last nail into the bridge. It’s the shortest one out of all Budapest’s bridges, with its 333-meter-length. It was the least damaged bridge after the World War II, so the authorities managed to renovate it the fastest – by August 1946. There is a little anecdote, that instead of green it became grey, due to the simple fact that there was a shortage of green paint after the war.
That's all for today, but if I managed to arouse your curiosity, stay with us at Itinari, and I will continue the topic with dropping a few lines about each of the rest six significant bridges of Budapest, which have literally made my homeland’s capital the vanguard of bridging obstacles.
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