The „raincoat of the Chainbridge” – the Tunnel
In spite the Chainbridge was opened in 1949, those, who were coming from Pest, to reach Krisztinaváros still had to walk round the Castle Hill on the Buda side. For this reasons on 10th February 1853, four years after the completion of the Chain Bridge, a new construction was started, the building of a tunnel leading through the hill. The plans were prepared by Adam Clark, one of the builders of the Chainbridge. According to the original plans, the Tunnel was intended to be not only a road under the Castle Hill, but a passage, flanked with walking pathes, shops, restaurants, coffees and luxury boutiques on both sides, making the Tunnel a shiny walking area and a traffic road alike.
All this happened just four years after the Hungarian revolution and freedomfight of 1848/49, organized against the Habsburg Empire, so the Austrian goverment of the city - in a very understandable way – was unwilling to give free run of the building, and submit the Hungarian builders – all Hungarian was considered as a rebellionist! - with the necessary 800 tons of explosives. Moreover the Austrians were afraid, that boring a tunnel under the Castle Hill will upset the static of the hill, and weakens the fortress of Buda Castle.
Though nothing was realized from the original plans, after many probation borings, the Tunnel was inaugurated and opened for foot traffic on 6th March 1856, and for motorised traffic on 30th April 1857 . The pilons of the Tunnel were built in classicist style, and at both end still the original flats of the that time maintaining and tollcollector staff are seenable.
The Tunnel is 350 meters in length, actually identical to that of the Chain Bridge. This fact is the origin of the urban legend, according to which the Tunnel has only been built to have a place, where in rainy weather, the Chain Bridge can be shoved in .