The Freedom Bridge
The Freedom Bridge, also often called Liberty Bridge, was the third permanent bridge built in Budapest over the river Danube. The green painted iron bridge is one of the city’s most beautiful.
The bridge opened in 1896 as part of the country’s millennial celebrations. Emperor Franz Joseph, after whom the bridge was originally named, officially inaugurated the bridge by activating a device that hammered in the last nail, a silver one no less.
The Freedom Bridge was designed in 1894 by architect Virgil Nagy and engineer János Feketeházy. With a length of just over 333 meters (about 1100 ft) it is the shortest bridge over the Danube in Budapest. The bridge rests on just two large pillars and at the time it was considered a technical marvel.
The bridge derives its beauty from its graceful shape as well as the splendid decorations. The four tall spires are topped with statues of the legendary turul – a mythical bird – and a colorful crest is topped with a gilded crown. Parisian-style lampposts adorn the bridge on either side
During their retreat at the end of the Second World War, the German Army blew up all the bridges in Budapest, including this one. It was rebuilt shortly after the war according to the original plans and all the ornaments were skillfully reconstructed. The bridge was given its current name when it reopened in 1946 on St. Stephen’s Day, Hungary’s most important national holiday.