Bridges in Budapest – The capital has 7 bridges uses by cars and pedestrians. In addition, there are two railroad bridges. From North to South, these seven are the following:
Árpád Bridge (Árpád híd) is situated at the northern end of the Margaret Island, providing the only access to Margaret Island by car. Its structure is relatively modern and functional, lacking in gracefulness and aesthetic qualities.
Margaret Bridge (Margit híd) was built between 1872 and 1876, as a second bridge to connect Buda and Pest. It was designed and built by Paris based engineers, thus the style shows French influence. It also connects Margaret Island with the rest of the city on either side. The bridge turns at an angle in the middle, by the island.
Chain Bridge (Lánchíd), built between 1842 and 1849, was the first permanent span across the Danube. The idea originated from count István Széchenyi, who began to organize the construction in 1832. The designer was a personal acquaintance of his, William Tierney Clark, an English engineer, while Adam Clark, a Scottish engineer oversaw the construction (thus, the square on the Buda side of the bridge, was named after him). During the revolution of 1849, when the Hungarian Army used the bridge as a retreat route, the Austrian Army tried to blow up the bridge, but charges did not detonate, so the structure remained intact. Damage was inevitable at the end of the Second World War, when the center span collapsed, due to detonations, but reconstruction soon followed, and periodical renovations continue until this day.
Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd) was originally built between 1897 and 1903, but it was badly damaged by the retreating German troops in 1945, with only the piers remaining. The bridge, as it stands today, is a faithful reconstruction of the original structure, the two towers, which hold the suspension cables, were built on the ruins of the original piers. The bridge was re-opened in 1964.
Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) was originally called Franz Joseph Bridge, after the Habsburg Emperor. Historically, it was the third bridge of the capital, opened as part of the Millennium celebrations in 1896. The design is simple but elegant, ornamented with several Turul birds (a mystical symbol in Magyar history) perched atop the bridge's pillars. As one drives through from Pest to Buda, the frame, holding the suspension cables, presents a pretty view of the waterfall on Gellert Hill.
Petőfi Bridge (Petőfi híd) was constructed during the financial depression of the 1930s. The design, and the lack of decoration mirrors this era, the construction is merely functional. Nevertheless, it is wide enough to serve its purpose well.
Lágymányosi Bridge (Lágymányosi híd) is the most recent construction, on the southern part of the city. At the Pest side, it joins the city by the new National Theatre and the Palace of Arts. At the Buda side, it joins by the new buildings of the Technical University. It lacks in ornaments, but the design is graceful.