Here I am again with my recent topic of presenting all the significant bridges in Budapest, which make my capital city the vanguard of bridging obstacles. By that, I naturally refer to the literal meaning firstly, but the thing is, Hungary and Budapest have always been quite experienced in how to put up with difficulties. In their history, there has always been something to deal with: the siege of the Turks for centuries, the loss of the country’s two thirds after World War I, or just the regulation of the Danube and Tisza rivers in the 19th century. Hungary regularly has to find a solution to overcome obstacles in its life. In my final article in this series, I will show you all the remaining bridges of this beautiful treasure in the heart of Europe. I already dropped a few lines about five bridges so far, now let’s see the rest!
Being the youngest bridge in the Hungarian capital, it commemorates the Rákóczi’s, who were a significant ruling dynasty of Hungary and Transylvania in the 17th and 18th century. For a complete truth, there is another bridge in the region of Budapest, which was built later, but it’s not situated exactly in the area of Budapest – later I will speak about it too. Rákóczi Bridge was finalised into its current shape in 1995 when the N°1 tram line got led through it. A little curiosity: it was the very first bridge in Budapest, that had not received its name after a person, but after a landscape, or rather a district. Since it was built in the verge of the Lágymányos quarter, it was called Lágymányos Bridge first. Then after 16 years of wearing this trite name, it got renamed to its present one. Other candidates were Saint Stephen, Matthias Corvinus and Louis Kossuth – all of them beloved immortals of Hungary’s long history.
This was the only bridge during World War II, that was not blasted by the Germans, as it was not yet completed at that time. The construction of the bridge had been planned already in 1903, but the works started only in 1939, in the year of the war’s outbreak. It was a direct consequence that the building was knocked off until the war finally ended. Taking the results of World War II into consideration, namely that Hungary got under the supremacy of the Soviet Union after the war, it’s not surprising, that the bridge got named after the Georgian-born Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. The bridge’s launch was in 1950, five years after the war, and got renamed to Árpád in 1958, five years after Stalin’s death. Árpád was the leader of the Hungarians, conquering the area of their later territory for more than one thousand years at the turn of the 9th century. It is definitely not the prettiest edifice out of the ten bridges in Budapest’s agglomeration, but it’s a crucial element in the capital’s traffic. It leads through two islands: Margaret and Óbudai, latter is where Sziget Festival takes place at. There are several public transport stations on it, such as a subway, train, tram, and bus station as well.
Megyeri Bridge is part of the M0 motorway, which is the ring road around the city of Budapest. Administratively and geographically, it’s not a part of Budapest, but of Szigetmostor’s municipality. It was launched ten years ago, in 2008, and similarly to Rákóczi Bridge’s beginnings, it also wears a landscape’s name. According to an official, two-rounded online poll started in regards to the possible names (by the Ministry of Economy and Transport), voters’ final choice was Chuck Norris Bridge, therefore not surprisingly the troll result was not taken seriously. Legally, any bridge can be named only after a Hungarian, passed away citizen anyway. Megyeri Bridge is actually an ensemble of five different bridge structures, of which total length is 1,86 kilometres, and its total cost was more than two million euros. It has three traffic lanes on both sides, bicycle, and footpath too. The bridge arches over the Szentendre-island, that I already suggested you visiting. Megyeri Bridge is the most futuristic bridge in the neighbourhood of Budapest, and it is the first real, so-called cable-stayed bridge in Hungary.
First let’s start with Újpesti Railway Bridge, which is situated in the northern part of Budapest, and of which construction started in 1894 first, by an Italian company, as the connecting railway line was in the property of another Italian enterprise. The iron-structured elements though were manufactured by the Hungarian Railways. The first use of the bridge dates back to 1896, and with a few reinforcements in the meantime, it spotlessly fulfilled its vocation – until the Christmas of 1944. Along with several others, the German army exploded it too, while retreating from the Soviets. After the war, it got rebuilt and strengthened again, that all together took ten years. The new launch was in 1955.
There is also another railway bridge in the south, which is in style named Southern Linking Railway Bridge. The original construction (first launched in 1877) in the current bridge’s place was completely demolished during World War II. Eventually, the newly built railway edifice was opened to traffic in 1953, and until this very day, it’s protected by an armed guard for national security reasons. This is Hungary's most important and busiest railway link on the Danube, where most of the country's rail traffic is flowing. The bridge is the direct neighbour of Rákóczi Bridge, as it stretches in parallel with the other.
Well, that’s all I think. I hope you enjoyed all of my related articles, even though, I know, this topic is not the most conventional aspect of tourist attractions. Still, I firmly believe, that these spectacular bridges, that make Hungary the vanguard of bridging obstacles, have true parts in the belief that Budapest is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. To find out more about Hungary, and other European countries, stay with us at itinari!
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