Prior to the mid-19th century, the only way to cross the Danube between Buda and Pest was by boat. Count István Széchenyi fixed the problem. He was an influential politician who was called the Greatest Hungarian. Széchenyi spearheaded several projects to tame the Danube for navigation and transportation. He hired William Tierney Clark to design a permanent bridge. The 1,230 foot span was Europe’s largest when it opened in 1849. The Hungarian name is Széchenyi Iánchid. The latter word means “chain” in recognition of the iron cables.