Szent István körút

By walking along the Great Boulevard we shall get acquainted with the busiest and most densely populated districts of the city. Let us start from the Pest end of Margaret Bridge. Built from 1872 to 1876 to the design of the French firm of Gouin, Margaret Bridge was the second permanent bridge in Budapest, after the Chain Bridge. The most tragic event of its history occurred in October 1944, when German mines blew it up while it was full of vehicles and pedestrians. The bridge was rebuilt in 1948-49.

The Pest bridgehead is the starting point of the Great Boulevard, the first part of which is called Szent István körút.

The huge eclectic buildings along Szent István körút-today a busy thoroughfare and an important shopping district with many restaurants, pastry-shops and espressos-were built about the turn of the century. Conspicuous is the domed Comedy Theatre (Vígszinház). In front of it two busts represent Sándor Petôfi, the great poet of the 1848-49 War of Independence, and Miklós Zrínyi, the seventeenth-century Hungarian general and epic poet. The theatre was opened in 1896 to give a home to modern drama.