The Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Hungarian: Széchenyi lánchíd) is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. Designed by the English engineer William Tierney Clark, it was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849.
The bridge has the name of István Széchenyi, a major supporter of its construction, attached to it, but is most commonly known as the Chain Bridge. At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders. It has asserted an enormous significance in the country's economic, social and cultural life, much as the Brooklyn Bridge has in New York and United States of America. Its decorations made of cast iron, and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, have elevated the Chain Bridge to a high stature in Europe. It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.
Budapest (pron.: /ˈbuːdəpɛst/, /ˈbuːdəpɛʃt/ or /ˈbʊdəpɛst/; Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbudɒpɛʃt] ( listen); names in other languages) is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, the largest in East-Central Europe and the seventh largest in the European Union. It is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre, sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. In 2011, according to the census, Budapest had 1.74 million inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2.1 million due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3.3 million people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of west-bank Buda and Óbuda with east-bank Pest.