or Margaret Bridge
(sometimes Margit Bridge
) is a bridge in Budapest
, connecting Buda
across the Danube
. It is the second northernmost and second oldest public bridge in Budapest.
It was planned by the French engineer Ernest Goüin and built by his construction company, Maison Èmile Gouin (at present ‘’Société de constructions de Batignolles’’) between 1872-1876, the engineer in charge being Èmile Nouguier. Margaret Bridge is the second permanent bridge in Budapest after the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This bridge leads up to Margaret Island, its two parts enclosing 150 degrees with each other at the embranchment towards the island. The reason for this unusual geometry lies in the fact the small extension to connect the Margaret Island was hastily inserted into the original design, but not built until two decades later due to lack of funds.
The bridge's two ends are
It is 637.5 m in length and 25 m in width.
- Soon after the bridge was inaugurated, it became a preferred spot for people seeking to take their own life over personal or financial troubles. The wave of suicides inspired János Arany, a renowned Hungarian poet to compose a ballad about the jumpers. It was widely distributed in leaflet format, illustrated with Mihály Zichy's romantic styled intricate pencil drawings.
- All the bridges of Budapest were blown up by World War II Wehrmacht sapper troops in January 1945 during their retreat to the Buda side of the surrounded capital. But already on November 4, 1944 Margaret Bridge has been disrupted when an accidental explosion destroyed the eastern span of the bridge. 600 Civilians and 40 German soldiers died. Much of the original steel material has been lifted from the river and incorporated in the rebuilt structure.
- Margaret Bridge is the currently the worst worn bridge in Budapest. It is in urgent need of total overhaul, but cannot be shut down until a new bridge is built to the north of the city to handle sharply increasing car traffic. Since a new bridge is unlikely before 2015 due to bureaucratic issues, research has been started to find methods for the gradual in situ refurbishment of Margaret Bridge.