Page 51

The Castle Area and Váci Utca

dark brown shelves and hundreds of books. It could stay like this for many years, if the management changes the books. There is a statue of József Eötvös, a 19th century writer and politician, at the entrance to the Intercontinental Hotel. There is a small tablet saying “Erected by the Nation”, which was added by Hungarian secondary-school pupils and teachers on the occasion of Eötvös’ centenary.

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H Sándor Palace I Castle Theatre J Ruins of the former Ministry of Defence K Statue of a Hussar L Batthyány Palace u. K.

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Chain Bridge (Lánchíd) 1H – 2A ••• Linking Roosevelt tér in Pest and Clark Ádám tér in Buda, the Lánchíd was built between 1842 and 1849. The span between the pillars is 202 metres and the original structure weighed 2,000 tons. It was not quite finished when Austrian troops withdrawing to Buda towards the end of the Hungarian War of Independence tried to blow it up. They failed, however, to lay the charges properly and no damage was done to the bridge. Meanwhile, the colonel who gave the order to destroy the bridge was blown to pieces. When the bridge was ready, its creator was so proud of it that he declared he would drown himself if anyone could find any fault with his masterpiece, begins an old anecdote. So the people came and examined every little part of it, but in vain.

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They could not find anything wrong with the bridge. Then one day an apprentice cobbler (the proverbial hero of Hungarian stories like these) discovered that the lions at either the end of the bridge had no tongues. So Adam Clark committed suicide, the story went. In fact, the lions were made later than the bridge itself, and the sculptor gave his word that they do have tongues (which you can only see if you stand directly opposite them). In January 1945 German soldiers were, unfortunately, rather better at preparing demolition charges for bridges. They pushed a button and dropped the central span of the Lánchíd into the walk 1 ang 2006/11/22 17:39 Page 53 Danube. During the renovation of the bridge in 1987, sixty tons of paint were used and most of the 100,000 rivets were replaced. WALKjoke ONE at 53 The Tunnel under Castle Hill was built in 1857. The the time was that was so there would beform a place push A Lánchíd B Fô itutca 1. built C Flowerbed that used to a redtostar for decadeswhen D Hunyadi János útTunnel 1. E The entrance to the the bridge it rained. The was also built by Tunnel Adam F Lowera fact terminal the Cablethat Carhe G did Upper the Cable Car Clark, thatof indicates notterminal commitofsuicide, rather

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There was a pontoon bridge over the Danube from spring to autumn from the Middle Ages onwards. During the winter the river froze and carts could pass across the thick ice, but there were also times when many citizens got stuck on the wrong side when the thaw set in. In the winter of 1800 the entire magistracy of Pest went to Buda for the wedding of the Austrian governor and were not able to cross the river again for weeks. It was thought to be impossible to build a bridge of wood and stone over a river of this width until Count István Széchenyi founded a society for building a bridge to span the Danube and connect Pest and Buda. Inspired by having to wait at the river bank for a week while travelling to his father’s funeral when he was a young hussar captain in 1820, Széchenyi comissioned a British architect, William Tierney Clark, and Scottish master builder, Adam Clark (no relation). The iron was also imported from Britain. The building of the bridge was an example of an early public-private partnership, as it was partly financed by tolls. After protracted and fiery debates, Parliament passed a law declaring that the aristocracy too should pay the bridge toll, which was enforced until 1870. Some members of the Upper House declared that they would rather make a two-day detour to the south and cross the river by ferry, so intent were they on maintaining the noblemen’s exemption from tax.

The Castle Area and Váci Utca

Walk ONE

Walk ONE

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it, but in vain. They could not find anything wrong with the bridge. Then one A an E proverbial I Castle Lánchíd The entrance day apprentice cobbler (the hero of Hungarian stories like that) to of the Theatre discovered that the lions at the end theTunnel bridge had no tongues. And Clark B Fő utca 1. committed suicide.” F Lower J Ruins of Flowerbed InC fact the lions were made later than the bridge terminal of itself, and the thesculptor formergave his word that the lions do have tongues; you can’t see them unless you stand that used the Cable Car Ministry of directlytoopposite form athem. In January 1945 German soldiers were, unfortunateDefence ly, rather better at preparing demolition charges for bridges. They also pushed G Upper red star for the button and dropped the central span into the Danube. K Statue of a decades terminal of The Tunnel under Castle Hill was built in 1857; the Cable Carthe contemporary HussarBudapest D was Hunyadi joke that it was built so there would be somewhere to push the bridge into L Batthyány when it rained. also builtPalace by Adam Clark, a fact that indiJános út The 1. TunnelHwas Sándor cates that he did not commit suicide at all, rather married here and built a fine Palace home for himself and his family in Buda. He died at the age of 55, in 1866. The square at the Buda end of the Lánchíd was named after him in 1912. It was one of the few streets named after a foreigner that was not re-named during the Communist period.

Cable Car (Sikló) 2F–2G With a track almost 100 metres long, and PARK_Budapest_belivek_v065.indd 96-97

a gradient of 4.8 in 10, (48%) the cable car was opened for service 2011.04.20. in 1870. The idea was to provide cheap transport for clerks working in the Castle

15:49:11

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