The inside of the lid is engraved 'Presented to W.. TIERNEY CLARK. C.E. FRS. &c. By His Imperial Royal Highness, Charles, Hereditary ArchDuke of Austria &c. &c. In the name of HIS IMPERIAL ROYAL MAJESTY, FERDINAND THE FIRST. Emperor of Austria. and King of Hungary &c. On the occasion of LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE of the BUDA AND PESTH, SUSPENSION BRIDGE. the 24. Day of August 1842.'
The Széchenyi Lánchíd (Chain Bridge) is one of Hungary's best known landmarks. Today, eight bridges link Buda to Pest but the Chain Bridge is the first and most famous one, characterized by its solid arches and lion statues. The idea of constructing a permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest was developed by Hungary's great 19th century reformer, Count István Széchenyi. In 1820, bad weather forced him to wait eight days before he could cross the river by ferry to attend his father's funeral. A great anglophile, he commissioned William Tierney Clark (1783-1852) to design the bridge, and the Scottish engineer Adam Clark (no relation) was brought to Hungary to supervise the construction. The bridge was opened on 21 November 1849 allowing for the integration of Buda, Pest and Sbuda in 1872, and at 380 m. it was one of the largest suspension bridges at the time. The similarity with London's Hammersmith Bridge is no coincidence; it was also designed by Tierney Clark, and it was the basis of his plans for the Chain Bridge.