The restoration of one of the most iconic bridges of Budapest has started back in the middle of June this year, and it is expected to be finished by 2023.
The Chain Bridge is one of the most iconic and well-known bridges in Hungary, in no small part thanks to its gigantic bridgeheads guarding the bridge against evildoers.
According to Hellómagyar, these massive stone beasts are having a make-over, and restorers have been working on the ornate lions for months now. According to the plans, the lions will reconquer their royal spots in December 2022.
Renovating the iconic lions – which even hide an urban legend – is taking so long because of how carefully and meticulously the restorers are working on them. They have to assess their condition, clean their surface, fix the damage and discolourations, disinfect them, and try to find previously fixed spots.
To find where restorers might have put in filling materials before, the experts have to use hammers and listen to the sound of the material. They will then produce a detailed map of the imperfections.
Before the lions can be taken into a workshop to fix the cracks and broken-off parts, they have to be cleaned outdoors. For broken-off parts, the restorers might make carbon fibre joints, for example, in the case of their teeth.
The restorers can only add elements to the statues that can be proven to have existed before, and they also need to preserve some of the marks of time. They cannot just make the statues anew.
The lions from the Pest side are already in a workshop, but the other half are still waiting to be cleaned. Because of the cold weather, they need to wait until spring to be cleaned. Until then, they will spend the winter outdoors.
Interestingly, the lions each weigh over 12 tonnes. They are made up of three blocks of limestone that weigh 2.8, 5.5, and 4.3 tonnes respectively.
Experts are continuously working on the renovation of the Chain Bridge, Centre for Budapest Transport says. According to plans, the modernisation of this iconic piece will be finished by 2023.
The renovation is currently at the following stages: