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City Hotel Mátyás ***

Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge is one of Budapest’s most famous landmarks. The magnificent suspension bridge was built in the 19th century across the river Danube between Pest and Buda, at the time still separate cities.

The first connection between Pest and Buda was made by the Chain
Bridge or Széchenyi lánchíd, named after count Széchenyi, who took the initiative to build the bridge. In 1836 he gave the project to William Tierney Clark and Adam Clark.

William Clark had already designed two suspension bridges over the Thames; the Hammersmith Bridge in London and the Marlow Bridge. The latter is a similar albeit smaller version of the bridge William Clark would design for Budapest. The construction of the Chain Bridge was supervised by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark (not related).

The 375 meter (1230ft) long and 16 meter wide bridge, a superb engineering feat, was opened on november 20, 1849. In 1857
Adam Clark dug a 350 meter long tunnel through the Castle Hill to connect the bridge with the Buda hinterland.

The bridge ignited the economic revival that would lead to Budapest's golden century and it was one of the factors that made the provincial towns of Pest and Buda into a fast-growing metropolitan. In 1989 people demonstrated on the chain bridge for freedom and independence. Since then, the bridge has become a symbol of Hungarian liberty.