Chain Bridge (Budapest)

Chain Bridge (Budapest)

The Széchényi Chain Bridge, named after István Széchenyi, was the first permanent bridge across the Danube between Pest and Buda.



Chain-type Suspension bridge - Chain Bridge, Budapest, Széchényi, Clark, Pest, Buda, Danube, Budapest, Hungarian Reform Era, architecture, bridge, transportation, suspension bridge, stone pillar

Related items


  • Which one was the first permanent bridge between Pest and Buda?
  • Who initiated the construction of the Chain Bridge?
  • Who financed the construction of the Chain Bridge?
  • When did construction work start?
  • When was the Chain Bridge inaugurated?
  • Who made the lion sculptures seen on the abutments of the bridge?
  • Who supervised the construction of the Chain Bridge?
  • Who designed the chain bridge?
  • When was the foundation stone of the Chain Bridge laid?
  • Altogether how much iron was the Chain Bridge built of?
  • In what style were the architectural parts of the Chain Bridge built?
  • Is it true that people crossing the Chain Bridge had to pay a toll?
  • Is it true that Széchenyi could not have seen the Chain Bridge?
  • Is it true that omnibuses were allowed on the Chain Bridge?
  • What is the full length of\nthe Chain Bridge?
  • What is the distance between the pillars of the Chain Bridge?
  • How much higher are the pillars of the chain bridge than the average water level?
  • What was the nationality of the engineer Adam Clark?
  • Where did Széchenyi and\nAdam Clark first meet?
  • Who was the King of Hungary when the Chain Bridge was inaugurated?
  • Is it true that noblemen did not have to pay a toll on\nthe Chain Bridge?
  • What was the only way to cross the Danube between Pest to Buda before the Chain Bridge was built?
  • Which structure was used to create a dry working environment for the construction of the pillars?
  • How many pillars does\nthe Chain Bridge have?
  • How many spans does\nthe Chain Bridge have?
  • What type of bridge is\nthe Chain Bridge?
  • Is it true that only Hungarian building materials were used for the construction of the Chain Bridge?
  • How long were the poles used for the construction of the dams when building the pillars and abutments?
  • How many workers took part in the construction?
  • Where were the iron components of the Chain Bridge made?
  • How long were the eyebar links of the original chain?
  • How heavy were the eyebar links of the original chain?
  • What happened to Széchenyi during a special event at the construction site?
  • According to the urban legend, which part of the lions was not carved by the sculptor?
  • What was the deck of the bridge covered with?
  • Approximately how much was the full cost of building the Chain Bridge?
  • Who was the first to cross the bridge while it was still under construction?
  • What was built on the two sides of the deck?
  • How wide was the batch of eyebar links at the pivot points?


Chain Bridge


  • batch of eyebar links
  • eyebar link - It consisted of batches of 10 or 11 eyebars (metal bars) connected by pins at the pivot points.
  • 60 cm
  • suspender
  • 1.8 m
  • pivot point

Structure of the deck

  • supporting crossbeam
  • 1.8 m
  • cross supporters
  • suspender


  • coach lane 5.4 m
  • pedestrian walkway 1.8 m
  • parapet
  • lamp
  • wooden deck covering

Structure of the bridge

  • bridgehead
  • bridge pillars
  • deck structure
  • 380 m
  • 203 m
  • 48 m

Chain chamber

  • chain batch
  • anchor block
  • chain channel



  • cofferdam - Rows of poles were filled with watertight material to ensure a dry working area.
  • pole - Several thousands of them were used to strengthen the foundation. They were 20-24 m long and measured 0.38 m in diameter.
  • bridge pillars
  • bridgehead
  • chain chamber
  • deck
  • chain structure


The Széchenyi Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge across the Danube between the then independent cities of Pest and Buda. It was built during the Hungarian Reform Era, its construction was initiated by the ‘Greatest Hungarian’, Count István Széchenyi and financed by Baron Georgios Sinos. The bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark, an English engineer, with construction work supervised by the Scottish engineer Adam Clark.

After a long period of debate and preparation, the construction was finally started in 1839. First, cofferdams were built in the riverbed to enable the pillars to be erected. These dams were built from enormous wooden poles, clay and pebbles. First, the coffer for the Pest side abutment was built, then those for the two pillars, and finally the coffer for the Buda side abutment.

After putting thousands of poles in place, the pillars and abutments were constructed. The foundation stone was laid during a ceremony in 1842. When the several hundred workers completed the masonry work, the iron structure was assembled. The chains of the support structure were made from English wrought iron. They were pulled up to the top of the pillars by a steam engine, with one end anchored inside the chain chambers in the abutments. When the chains were in place, the suspender rods and the deck structure were added. This phase, however, was delayed by the outbreak of the Hungarian revolution in 1848. The deck was supported by cast iron crossbeams. The crossbeams held a wooden structure, which was completed by adding a parapet, lamps and ornaments. The paired lion sculptures perched at both ends were created by János Marschalkó.

The magnificent bridge was finally opened in 1849. Sadly, István Széchényi could not cross it himself, as he was receiving treatment in an asylum in Döbling, Austria, after suffering a mental breakdown. However, it was named after him, and it is still one of the most beautiful bridges to span the Danube and one of the great symbols of Budapest.

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