The Chain Bridge is THE bridge in Budapest.* You’ve seen pictures of it, I promise. It is beautiful.
My friends and I ushered in the New Year smack in the middle of it with the most gigantic bottle of champagne I have ever seen and it was great fun!
The Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge across the Danube and was designed by Englishman William Tierney Clark on the initiative of Count Istvan Szechenyi and built between 1839-49 by a Scot named Adam Clark.** The lions that guard the bridgehead were sculpted by Janos Marschalko who is rumoured to have been so distraught over forgetting to give the lions tongues that he drowned himself in the Danube.***
All of this information from DK’s Eyewitness Travel Budapest, pages 162-63.
*And unlike THE bridge in Prague (the Charles Bridge), it was built to carry more than just foot and cart traffic. Then again, the Charles Bridge was built in the 14th century, so they were centuries away from needing a bridge wide and strong enough for motorized vehicles.
**Who is not related to William Tierney Clark.
***A fun, if macabre, story that is completely untrue. The lions do, in fact, have tongues. We looked.