The Chain Bridge is a 19th century suspension bridge which spans the Danube River connecting the Pest and Buda sides of the city. The Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge crossing the Danube in Budapest. Before that people had to use a ferry or go as far as Vienna for the nearest bridge! Before the Chain Bridge was constructed a temporary bridge would be erected across the river each summer. The construction of the Chain Bridge was championed by Count Szechenyi. The bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark who was also responsible for the Hammersmith Bridge and Marlow Bridge in London England. Construction of the Chain Bridge was overseen by engineer Adam Clark and was completed in 1849. During WWII the Germans completely destroyed the bridge and following the war it was one of the first structures to be rebuilt. The bridge we see today is a faithful replica of the original. On the Buda side of the bridge is Adam Clark Square where you can see the) sculpture by Miklos Borsos which marks the starting point of all roads in Budapest. The square is also a terminus for the Buda Hill Funicular.
The Chain Bridge is 375 meters long and 16 meters wide, huge chains connect the bridge’s two towers, hence the name. The bridge towers are richly decorated with the Hungarian coat-of-arms and stone lion statues by Janos Marschalko. During the protests against Soviet rule in 1989 the bridge was the site of demonstrations; this added to the people’s love of the bridge and made it a symbol of independence.