Story behind the photo: Budapest Chain Bridge |

Story behind the photo: Budapest Chain Bridge

20 February 2011

The Chain Bridge in Budapest is the oldest Budapest’s bridges across the Danube, connecting Buda and Pest. And if you ask me, it’s still the most beautiful one too. The design reminded me of Paris, especially with the use of big building bricks and the 48 meter high piers in the middle. And then there are the huge stone lions, protecting the entrances of the bridge.

But what may be even more fascinating, is the legend of the bridge.
Completed in 1849, it was the first stone bridge connecting Buda and Pest, and only the second one across the Danube over its whole length. The chief engineer, Adam Clark, wanted “his” bridge to be perfect and worked only with the very best. For the creation of the four lions, Clark asked the help of sculptor János Marschalko. Marschalko was so very pleased with his own work that he announced that if anyone could find a mistake, he would end his life.
Legend has it that during the opening ceremony a young boy pointed out that the lions didn’t have tonques. That same day Marschalko committed suicide by - how ironic - jumping from the bridge.

A funny side note: Actually the lions do have tongues, but they can only be seen from above.

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Linguist-in-Waiting's picture

I was there three years ago! I loved Budapest, and the Chain Bridge was one of the places that I made sure to visit.

Nicolas's picture

Budapest is indeed a great city, I loved the combination of cultural Buda and the vibrant Pest.

Mike's picture

I've been living in Budapest off and on for about ten years now, and I've heard lots of people definitively stating that the lions either do or don't have tongues. For my part, I've never been able to see them, and I've crossed the bridge, and looked for them, more times than I can recall. But nobody ever mentioned that you have to look at them *from above* to be able to see them! That makes a lot of sense--so thanks :)

Nicolas's picture

Glad I could help! :-)

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