Margaret Bridge was the second permanent bridge built in Budapest, connecting St. Stephen’s Boulevard and Margit Boulevard by touching the gem of Budapest Margaret Island. The bridge was built between 1872 and 1876, inaugurated on April 30, 1876.
Budapest’s first bridge, Chain Bridge had a monopoly which was intended to guarantee the revenues for the private bridge. Budapest needed a second crossing but according to the agreement, no other bridge could be constructed in 8 km distance on each side from Chain Bridge. As the transport grew the city redeemed the right to build a second bridge.
The design tender was published in 1871 and won by Ernest Goüin, French engineer, so the bridge has been constructed by the Parisian construction firm, Société de Construction des Batignolles.
One of the most notable aspects of the bridge is its strange v-shape: the bridge has an angle of 165 degrees at the point where it branches off to Margaret Island.
The iron pieces of the bridge’s structure were manufactured in France and transported to Budapest by train. The pillars of the bridge are decorated with statues of galley prows, created by the French sculptor Adolphe Martial Thabard. The figureheads are winged female figures and the middle part is adorned with a commemorative plaque and the Hungarian Crown and two obelisks.
The total length of the bridge is 607.6 meters and the centerline breaks at the extension to the Margaret Island. The extension was finished at 1900, so before that, the tiny island was only accessible by boat.
Explore Margaret Island by a Budapest Sightseeing Cruise – you can get off the cruise and get back to Budapest on the same day.
At the World War II, Margaret Bridge exploded twice. At the first time, it was an accident at the peak traffic, due gas flowing and about 600 civilians died. The second explosion was made by the retreating German troops in January 1945.
Since then the bridge has been renovated several times.
Have a nice dinner with Folk Show on the river Danube and get to know the Hungarian Folk Dance Moves on the Folk Dinner Cruise departing from the city center, close to Elisabeth Bridge.