Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Scot in Budapest

I has been looking as stuffs in Budapest, as we will be visiting the city for a couple of days. As you descend on the funicular from Castle Hill in Hungarian Buda, the Chain Bridge comes clearly into view.

Look, you can see it in this Wikipedia photo. To locals its name is (copy and paste) Széchenyi. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube, connecting the separate towns of Buda and Pest. The photo below is well worth clicking to see some detail.


Without the engineering expertise, Hungary, specifically the statesman Széchenyi after whom the bridge is named, turned to the British and was rather impressed by Hammersmith Bridge over the River Thames and Marlow Bridge in Buckinghamshire, both designed by William Tierney Clark. Clark drew up plans for the first permanent bridge to link Buda and Pest and with Scottish born Adam Clark (no relation) supervising the project, the bridge opened in 1849.

Now 1848/49 were significant years in European history with an unsuccessful revolution against the Hapsburg Empire. The Austrians wanted to blow up the almost finished bridge, but Adam Clark flooded the chain chambers and prevented them from doing so. The Scot became a Hungarian hero.

Back here I posted a You Tube video of the splendid Buda Hill funicular from the outside, rather than as a passenger.  Here is the view from the inside of the funicular as it ascends the hill.


16 comments:

  1. That's a great bridge well worth a look.
    Merle.............

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    1. Merle, sadly the photo won't show as large as the original. It is indeed a fine bridge.

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  2. It's a spectacular view and amazing city. The river is great but it isn't so clean.

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    1. Gosia, it is not the famous blue Danube?

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  3. My mother in law, a Czech citizen originally, became Hungarian overnight when the borders moved. She had to learn this difficult new, non-slavic language quickly because her school had to teach in Hungarian.

    This stood her in good stead, as it turned out, because during the last years of the war she went into hiding in Budapest. It was the most cultivated city in Central and Eastern Europe other than Vienna, and presumably the safest place to survive.

    Budapest is arguably still one of the most cultivated cities, which you will love. Don't miss the spas, hot baths in the open air, massages and theraputic coffee shops :)

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    1. Most interesting Hels. I feel a couple of days in Budapest will be far to short time, but it is enough for our travelling companions.

      Theraputic coffee shops sound perfect.

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  4. One of those many pieces of trivia that my father loved to impart was that the closest language to Hungarian is Finnish. I always found that a puzzling and fascinating piece of information.

    We were bussed up and down the hill on our escorted stay in Budapest. I don't recall the funicular being mentioned unfortunately but the city has loads of trams to study.

    By the way, the city also has its building by the river that is modelled on England's Houses of Parliament.

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    1. Victor, I recall hearing Finnish is a very difficult language for English speakers to learn. A connection between Hungary and Finland is surprising, given they are well separated.

      Public transport is the best way to see a city, so I expect we will be using trams a bit.

      I have also heard about the parliamentary buildings, but I can't really see the similarities.

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  5. Lovely views from the photo and the video. I'm sure you'll have a fantastic visit there.

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    1. River, it may well be cloudy, grey and wet, but I am sure we will still enjoy it.

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  6. It looks enchanting. Somewhere I have always been interested in, and now will probably never see.
    I hope you take LOTS of photos whlle you are away.

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    1. EC, yes, lots of photos. I don't usually publish them until I return home, but I will see.

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  7. Oh I think you two will have a wonderful time Andrew, when do you actually depart ? Seems to me from reading last few posts that your holiday is slightly lacking in the relaxation department, you need to have at least a couple of chill out days.. Bet your new great niece is a real cutie, most babies are :) You take care and enjoy you last few days.. I don't mean that the way it sounds :)

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    1. Grace, we leave in early May, so still some time yet. Back to work Tuesday, Monday will be my self indulgent day.

      Yes, she is very cute. Photos of her are proliferating on FB. She is the first to be born in the time of FB.

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  8. You must make time to go to the Gellart spa. It is close to the funicular so no excuses. A couple of hours languishing in the differently heated pools is just wonderful and will revive your sagging energy from all the sightseeing.
















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    1. Fun60, I better make sure I pack my one piece then.

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