Some people liken Budapest to conjoined twins characterized by completely different personalities, with the conjoined epithet being attributed to the city’s picturesque bridges. Since each bridge has its very own history, taking a closer look at each of them might be beneficiary for all parties involved. Educate yourself about the bridges of Budapest by scanning through our list!
SzéchenyiLánchíd () is arguably the most mesmerizing bridge in Budapest, and one of the city’s symbols. Its bewitching beauty is not the only reason we’ve decided to put it on the mountaintop of Budapest’sbridges; for the history of Lánchíd is just as rich as its ornaments. Before commencing a lesson about the past, let us take a glance at the facts of the present. On the Pestside, facing illustrious , Lánchíd is anchored to Széchenyitér (Széchenyi Square). On the Budaside, it’s anchored to ClarkÁdámtér, where the grants an instant access to the RoyalPalace. As for Lánchíd’s history, it was the first bridge in Budapest, designed by WilliamTierneyClark to the initiative of Count István Széchenyi. The construction was supervised by Adam Clark, and was funded by a Greek merchant, GeorgiosSinas. Lánchíd was opened to the public in 1849, and became an international sensation within a blink of an eye. The siege of Budapest had taken its toll on Lánchíd, but after the storms of WorldWarII drifted away, it was rebuilt and reopened in 1949.
Erzsébethíd () was named after QueenElizabeth, the beloved empress of the Austro–Hungarianmonarchy assassinated in 1898. During the time of its construction – it was opened to the public in 1903 -, the original suspension bridge was an engineering miracle that raised eyebrows all over the globe. Unfortunately, retreating Wermacht troops blew up the first version of Erzsébethíd in 1945, and deprived us of the chance to witness its impressive glory. Two decades later, between 1961 and 1964, it was rebuilt according to the plans of PálSávoly, and required minor tweaks throughout the following decades. The spectacular floodlights projecting the tri-colours of the Hungarianflag on Erzsébethíd’spillars were a present from the Japanesestate in 2009, and were a creation of IsiiMotoko. As for the usual data, on the Pestside, it is anchored to Március15. tér (March 15 Square), granting an easy access to Váciutca () and . On the Budaside, it is anchored at the the winding staircases leading up to Gellért-hegy (Gellért Hill) and Citadella (The Citadel).
Szabadsághíd (), the third oldest bridge in Budapest was built between 1894 and 1896, and was originally named after EmperorFranzJoseph. The construction, which was funded from the tolls collected on Budapest’s other bridges, was executed according to the plans of JánosFeketeházy, although other engineers – IstvánGállik, JózsefBeke, VirgilNagy – also took part in the process. And now comes the expected sad part of the story: Szabadsághíd was blown up in 1945 by retreating Wermacht troops. To sugarcoat the bitter reality, it was rebuilt and reopened a year later, but, due to a lack of paint, it only regained its birch-green colour in 1984. Between August 2007 and December 2008, Szabadsághíd was wholly renovated for 5.6 billion HUF, and became a rival of both Lánchíd with its renewed vintage glory. On the Pestside, it is anchored to Fővámtér, and neighbours both KözpontiVásárcsarnok () and CorvinusUniversity. On the Budaside, it’s anchored to SzentGellérttér, a square famous for Budapest’s most well-known historic bath, .
Margithíd (Margaret Bridge), the second oldest bridge in Budapest, was built between 1872 and 1876 according to the plans of French engineer ErnestGouüin. Just like all the other bridges, it was blown up in January 1945, but was already damaged at the time due to an accidental mine explosion that took place in 1944 and killed hundreds of citizens and dozens of soldiers. The rebuilding process reached its end in 1948, and further changes were made during the 1970s. At the end of the previous decade, the conditions of Margíthíd’s certain elements were deemed life threatening, so a thorough renovation couldn’t have been postponed any further. The works began in 2009, ended in June 2011, and had a total cost of 20 billion HUF. Regarding the location of Margithíd, on the Pestside, it’s anchored to JászaiMaritér, a stone’s throw away from both the and the most picturesque parts of the DanubePromenade. On the Budaside, it’s anchored to GermanusGyulapark, near historic baths such as and , and the most eastern Islamic sanctuary in the world, GülBaba’stomb. Moreover, the bridge grants an access to Margitsziget (), with its two parts enclosing 165 degrees at the island’s entrance.
Árpádhíd (Árpád Bridge), situated at the other end of Margitsziget, and named after GrandPrinceÁrpád, who led the Hungariantribes into the CarpathianBasin in 896, is the longest in Budapest. The construction works began in 1939 according to the plans of JánosKossalka, but were halted by World War II, and were only finished in 1950. Due to the communist regime, it was called StalinBridge until 1958. On the Budaside, Árpádhíd is anchored to Szentlélektér, a square situated a stone’s throw away from , while on the Pestside, it grants an access to Metroline3.
Petőfihíd (Petőfi Bridge) was named after SándorPetőfi, an iconic Hungarianpoet who disappeared in the RevolutionaryWarsof1848-49. Between 1937 and 1945, it was called HorthyMiklósBridge after governor MiklósHorthy, but was promptly renamed when World War II finally ended. Following a four-year-long construction procedure based on the plans of PálHubertÁlgyai, it was opened to the public in 1937. Following the devastations of WWII, Petőfihíd was rebuilt at the beginning of the 1950s. On the Pestside, it is anchored to Borárostér, a bustling square situated at the southern end of Nagykörút (The Grand Boulevard), while its Budaside anchor is right next to A38 and the campuses of ELTETÁTK (Eötvös Loránd University’s Faculty of Social Sciences) and BME (University of Technology and Economics).
Rákóczihíd (Rákóczi Bridge), named after the Rákóczis, a noble family that played an important role in Hungary’shistory, is the second newest bridge in Budapest. It was inaugurated in 1995, and was built according to the plans of TiborSigrai. Its design stirred serious arguments among locals, some Budapesters even went to the extent of saying that the red poles resemble bright-red oil pumps. Until August 2011, when the city council unanimously voted in favor of renaming the bridge, it was known as LágymányosiBridge. On the Pestside, it is anchored to a culturally overwhelming area giving home to MűvészetekPalotája (The Palace of Arts), NemzetiSzínház (), and . On the Budaside, it is anchored to Infopark and the campuses of ELTE and BME.
Also worth mentioning
Megyeri híd, the newest bridge of Budapest, is a cable-stayed construction that constitutes an important section of the M0 ringroad. The bridge’s naming poll received serious media attention when American comedian StephenColbert won the poll in a landslide with more than 17 million votes.