The pedestals of the stone lions decorating the Pest bridgehead of the Chain Bridge will soon be fully completed, where the sculptures that have been renewed will return in autumn, reported the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), which published new pictures and updated information about the renovation of the Chain Bridge. It was also reported that the statue pedestals fell apart when the crossing was blown up in 1945, and they were rebuilt in 1949 using the techniques and materials available at the time.

The Chain Bridge in 2021 (Photo: BKK)

The granite slabs covering the pedestals have now been renovated, and the inscription "Széchenyi-Lánczhíd" has been engraved and is now being gilded, which they could not do during its reconstruction after World War II. The inscription on the statue pedestal on the north side of the Pest bridgehead will be placed on the bridge in accordance with the proposal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), BKK announced, but they did not report what the amendment would be.

The inscription "Széchenyi-Lánczhíd" shines in its old glory, which could not be restored when the bridge was rebuilt after World War II (Photo: BKK)

The information also published on the website of the BKK shows that as soon as the pedestals on the Pest side of the Chain Bridge are finished by the contractor's specialists, the lion statues restored in the restoration workshop will also return, and this will take place this autumn.

The old stones forming the pedestal were taken to The Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology And Transport.

The decorations were also returned to their place

In the meantime, the experts are putting the finishing touches on the stone surfaces of the Pest pylon, where work began in the spring. The lion heads on the gates of Pest and the coats of arms above them were beautified, and the restorers worked on their renewal on site from the scaffolding surrounding the gates.

Still among the scaffolding is the Holy Crown, which decorates the Chain Bridge as part of the Hungarian coat of arms (Photo: BKK)

The crowned coats of arms decorating both sides of the gates were added to the bridge in 1996 (Photo: BKK)

The plastered, black layer was removed from the heavily tainted, lion-headed capstones of the Chain Bridge's gate openings - similarly to the lion statues restored in the workshop - with special chemical wraps. The crowned coats of arms above the lions' heads were added to the crossing in 1996, and the elements to be repaired were replaced with the help of silicone samples taken from the intact parts.

The lion heads on the Pest gate and the coats of arms above them have been renewed (Photo: BKK)

The lion's head above the Pest gate and the crowned coat of arms in 2021, before the restoration (Photo: BKK)

The renewed lion's head above the gate (Photo: BKK)

The 60 small rosettes (the metal ornaments shaped like rose petals) and 26 larger decorative casts, which were painted in the bridge's "new" blue-grey colour, have already been reinstalled on the Pest pylon. The renovated granite and limestone elements in some parts of the pylon are still being patinated and treated with a water-repellent agent.

The rosettes were painted blue-grey (Photo: BKK)

BKK also announced that the renovation of the Chain Bridge is still progressing according to the schedule. Major repair works affecting the remaining steel structure have been completed, and protection against rusting continues in the tents set up in the coastal openings in Pest and Buda. On the Pest side, on the sidewalk sections leading up to the bridge, the digging of trenches for the public lighting wires and the installation of protective pipes have begun.

They remind the public that the renovation of the Chain Bridge began in the spring of 2021 and was carried out by A-Híd Zrt. As they wrote: the modernisation of one of the most important cultural heritage and symbols of our country is planned to be completed in 2023, but the road will be ready at the end of this year.

Source: BKK

Cover photo: The statue pedestals are being prepared, and the decorations of the gate on the Pest side have been restored (Photo: BKK)