The Chain Bridge (“Lanchid”)

Lanchid Pillars

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, or ‘Lanchid’, as it is known in Hungarian, was the first permanent bridge across the Danube river in Budapest. It links the west side of Buda with the east side of Pest.  In 1848,  after the Hungarian Revolution, construction of the bridge began. The bridge was officially opened in 1849.  At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world’s engineering wonders. The bridge became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West. When the construction was completed the two cities of Buda and Pest were autonomous cities; twenty years later they were united into the major cosmopolitan capitol of Hungary, Budapest.

When the bridge was opened in 1849, it became the first permanent bridge in the Hungarian capital. Its center span of 202 metres (663 ft) was one of the largest in the world. The lions at each of the abutments were carved in stone by the sculptor, Marschalko János. There is a widespread urban legend that the lions don’t have tongues, but they really do. They can only be seen from above.

Lanchid - aerial view


Lion at the Entrance








Chainbridge at Night

In World War II, the bridge was severely damaged during the Siege of Budapest at the end of 1944. The Germans were retreating from Budapest and they blew up all the bridges across the Danube including the Chain Bridge. Only the Lions remained intact. The reconstruction of the bridge was started in 1947 and it was rebuilt in its original form and reopened in 1949, exactly 100 years after its original construction.

Stamps of the Chain Bridge – Some of the rarest souvenir sheets of Hungary were issued to commemorate the building of the Chain Bridge.

1949 - Air Mail SS

This souvenir sheet is one of the most expensive souvenir sheets issued by Hungary. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Chain Bridge. The stamp in the center illustrates the “Symbol of Labor”


1949 Regular and Airmail set

This set of 5 stamps above includes 3 regular issues and 2 airmail stamps issued to commemorate the opening of the bridge. It exists in perforated and imperforate versions.

The following 2 sheets are Air Post Semi-Postal sheets issued in 1948 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the building of the Chain Bridge.

1948 - Air Post Semi Postal SS - 2FT

1948 - Air Post Semi Postal SS - 3FT







These two souvenir sheets marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the bridge in 1999.

1999 - 150th Anniversary SS

1999 Emlekiv - 150th Anniversary of Lanchid













One of our customers, Richard Hall, created a list of the Chain Bridge stamps that are in his collection. It is quite a comprehensive list and is included here as a reference. Thank you, Dick.

Year     Cat #     Subject
1941     576     Chain Bridge, Budapest
1945-46 708-722 Chain Bridge
1949     861-863 Chain Bridge (+ C64-65)
1963     1507     Chain Bridge
1964     1621     Danube Bridges at Budapest – Lánchid (Chain Bridge)
1966     1737     Chain Bridge
1966     1792     Chain Bridge
1970     2018     Budapest 1945 and 1970
1972     2182a   Buda 1872 and 1972 se-tenant pair
1973     2227     Chain Bridge
1975     2360     Fishermen’s Bastion and Chain Bridge
1980     2653     Dr. Endre Hogyes
1985     2948     Danube Bridges at Budapest (souvenir sheet)
1989     3169     Parliament, Chain Bridge (souvenir sheet)
1993     3414     Chain Bridge and Buda Castle
1994     3479     View of Budapest
1999     3680     Chain Bridge (souvenir sheet)
2001     3770     Hungarian History – c) Chain Bridge, e) Parliament
2001     3771     Hungarian History – c) Chain Bridge
2003     3868    Comnet
2005     3953    Chain Bridge
2007     4045    Scenes of Budapest – Chain Bridge, Parliament, Heroes Square
2007     4052     Chain Bridge
2009     4143     Chain Bridge
1961     B223a   Panorama of Budapest (se-tenant strip of 4)
1969     B270     Chain Bridge
1970     B276     Fishermen’s Bastion, Coronation Church, Chain Bridge
1971     B288     Views of Buda, 1777, and Budapest, 1970 (souvenir sheet)
1971     B293     Liberation Monument, Chain Bridge (souvenir sheet)
1982     B328     Parliament, Chain Bridge, Castle
1949     C64       Chain Bridge
1949     C65       Chain Bridge
1949     C66       Chain Bridge (+ 861-863)
1957     C174a   Old Buda, Budapest se-tenant pair
1957     C178     Chain Bridge
1958     C196     Plane over Chain Bridge, Budapest
1967     C274     Plane over Budapest
1976     C364     Tourist Publicityxz
1977     C374     Parliament, Chain Bridge (sheetlet)
1948     CB1D    Chain Bridge
1948     CB2      Chain Bridge
1974     CB33a  Lemberg + Budapest se-tenant pair

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