Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

Pál Sávoly
Date Built
Connecting Szabad sajto Way in Pest with Hegyalja Ut in Buda
The Erzsébet Bridge spans the narrowest point of the Danube connecting Buda to Pest.  It occupies the same site as the original Elizabeth Bridge that was a three span chain bridge completed in 1903 (see below - the image is shown here on the understanding that it is in the public domain).  It was named in honour of Queen Elizabeth, the wife of Francis Joseph I, who was assassinated in Geneva in 1898.

The original bridge survived until January 18th in 1945 when the retreating German army blew up all of the Budapest bridges.  After the war some of the bridges, including the Chain Bridge, were rebuilt, but in the case of the Elizabeth Bridge almost 20 years went by before it was replaced by an entirely new structure.

The new bridge is the same overall length as the original one but, whilst the old bridge provided 4 road lanes and a rail track for trams, the new one has 6 road lanes.  It did originally carry trams but when cracks began to appear on the bridge in the 1970s the tram tracks were removed.

A plaque at the end of the bridge points out that, to commemorate the resumption of diplomatic relations between Hungary and Japan, a lighting system was added to the bridge paid for in part by the government of Japan.  The lighting system was designed by the renowned Japanese lighting designer Motoko Ishii.