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Image of Old Chain Bridge

Image of Old Chain Bridge which crosses the River Danube in Budapest


Széchenyi lánchíd is a suspension bridge that straddles the Danube in Budapest.

Started in 1839 according to the project of Count István Széchenyi, and completed in 1849 by the Scottish Adam Clark according to the plans of the English William Tierney Clark, he has a long apron of 360 meters supported by two towers, a technical feat for the era. It was the first permanent bridge on the Hungarian section of the Danube and is the emblem of Budapest.

Work began in 1839. The Scottish engineer Adam Clark supervised the work. Forged iron chains and castings were manufactured in England at The Hunter and English and Howard and Ravenhill mills, transported by sea and then by river along the Main Danube Canal. The bridge was one of the most remarkable aerial works of the time. European civil engineers were following with great interest the progress of the work. John Augustus Roebling, a civil engineer, described it as the largest bridge of his time. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge was indeed the second largest bridge after the large suspension bridge built on the Sarine in the canton of Friborg. For a long time the bridge of the Széchenyi chains was the largest suspension bridge by the chains. The bridge was inaugurated on November 20, 1849. All the users of the bridge had to pay the toll. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot

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