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Photographer's Note

The Chain Bridge is Budapest's premier bridge both in terms of its age and its fame. It was only the second permanent bridge to be constructed over the entire length of the Danube. At the instigation of Istv嫕 Sz嶰henyi, it was built by Adam Clark between 1839-1849, based on the plans of W. T. Clark. Its cast iron decorations and a structure that radiates calm dignity and harmony raise it to the ranks of the most beautiful examples of industrial heritage in Europe. The four lion statues at the two bridge-heads are the work of J嫕os Marschalk; they date from 1852. The Chain Bridge was a world sensation in its day and had only one match in London. Not surprising given the design is also English. These facts all serve to make the Chain Bridge a national symbol: a symbol of progress, of national awakening, of connecting the East and the West. It is not only respected, but also well loved in Budapest. The birthday celebration, slowly becoming a tradition, is a manifestation of this love. The event was first held in 1999 on the 150th anniversary of the Bridge's inauguration.

Budapest

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary.As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation center and is considered an important hub in Central Europe. In 2008, Budapest had 1,702,297 inhabitants, down from a mid-1980s peak of 2.1 million, with an official agglomeration of 2,451,418. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with the unification on 17 November 1873, of right-bank (west) Buda and 羒uda (Old Buda) together with Pest on the left (east) bank.

Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement, was the direct ancestor of Budapest, becoming the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Magyars arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241-42.The re-established town became one of the centers of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Moh塶s and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, development of the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after the 1873 unification. It also became the second capital of Austria-Hungary, a great power that dissolved in 1918. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest of 1945, and the Revolution of 1956.

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andr嫳sy Avenue, and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in Europe. Other highlights include the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. (Source: Vend嶲v嫫)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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