There’s a myth that says that the artist who designed and created these stone lions – two on either side of Széchenyi Bridge – was so intensely proud of his work that if anyone could find a fault with them, he claimed he would fling himself from the bridge. Legend has it that a child discovered the lions’ missing tongues and consequently the artist Marschalkó did throw himself from the top of the bridge to his death.
As romantic as the idea is, and as much as many Hungarians may still believe the legend, the truth is quite the opposite – the four lions actually do have tongues, they just can’t be seen from a pedestrian’s point of view. Marschalkó even went on to live into the 1870s, many years after the statue’s unveiling.
Lion statues, Budapest, Széchenyi Lánchíd, 1051 Hungary
The lion statues of Budapest’s Széchenyi Bridge | © Adam Barnes