Chain Bridge (Lánchíd)
Built in 1839-49 this was the city's first permanent river crossing. Today the outline of the Chain Bridge is one of the most commonly used symbols of Budapest.
The idea of constructing a permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest was developed by Hungary's great 19C reformer, Count István Széchenyi. In 1820 bad weather forced him to wait eight days before he could cross the river by ferry to attend his father's funeral.
A great Anglophile, he commissioned William Tierney Clark, an Englishman, to design the bridge, and the Scottish engineer Adam Clark (no relation) was brought to Hungary to supervise the construction. The bridge was opened on 21 November 1849, and at 380m it was one of the largest suspension bridges at the time. The similarity with London's Hammersmith Bridge is not coincidental- Tierney Clark designed that one, too, and it was the basis of his plans for the Chain Bridge.
The bridge was reconstructed after both world wars.Legend has it that the lion statues at either end of the bridge have no tongues, for the shame of which the sculptor drowned himself in the river. Others say if you look closely you can find them... Well, find out for yourself!