Chain Bridge by night, Budapest © HNTO
The Chain Bridge was the first stone bridge to be built over the Danube and is the most famous with its lion statues. Today nine bridges span the river linking Buda to Pest, but Chain Bridge takes pride of place as the city's symbol, a magnificent sight when floodlit at night.
It owes its construction to Count István Széchenyi who decided to build a permanent crossing after having to wait a week to cross the river to bury his father. The Chain Bridge was built by William and Adam Clark, who also constructed London Bridge. It was considered an amazing feat of engineering when it was opened in 1849. The famous stone lions which guard the bridge were carved by sculptor János Marschalkó. They were added to the bridge in 1852 and miraculously were not destroyed in World War II even though the bridge itself was blown up in January 1945 and was only resurrected in November 1949.
There is an urban legend in Budapest that the lions of the Chain Bridge do not have tongues - they actually do, but you can't see them except from above! At the foot of the bridge is Kilometre Zero, the point in Budapest from which all distances are measured.
Address: Roosevelt Square or Adam Clark Square