In the latest installment of our (semi)regular segment, Wow! Really?, we examine little-known or unexpected facts about Hungary and Hungarian culture. Today, we turn to the Eastern Hungarian city of Sátoraljaújhely, where plans are in the works to build the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the mountains near the city.
Under current plans the bridge, which would be built as part of the Zemplén Adventure Park, would span 700 meters, connecting the Szár and Vár mountains, at a cost of nearly 2.5 billion forints (approx. 8.25 million euros).
Located next to the Slovak border, with Ukraine an easy drive away, the town doesn’t seem at first glance to be the most natural place to build such a huge tourist attraction (for an exact location, take a look at the map above). Speaking to regional news outlet Borsod Online, however, Sátoraljaújhely’s mayor Péter Szamosvölgyi explained why the city of less than 15,000 plans to engage in such a colossal undertaking.
First and foremost, the mayor claims that the bridge would be a colossal tourist attraction, which “according to our calculations…could on its own bring up to one million additional visitors to our city each year.” This, Szamosvölgyi argues, could in turn transform his city into a major tourist destination, and bring with it a tourism industry that would be an employment and financial windfall.
Currently, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world is located in the Swiss alps, near the village of Randa. It opened earlier this year; at 494 meters long, it talks roughly ten minutes just to walk across.
At 700 meters, Sátoraljaújhely’s proposed bridge would be significantly longer. But while plans to build this mega-bridge have been brewing for two years now, the group pushing the plan forward only now submitted its grant proposal to the Tokaji tourist region’s development panel.
In addition, as of this writing, the bridge has only gotten so far as preliminary sketches, one of which serves as the main image of this article. The actual planning has yet to be undertaken, as does the task of securing the permits necessary for a project of this scale.
While it remains unclear as to when, or if, this proposed bridge will ever become a reality, if it ever does, be sure to make the trek to Sátoraljaújhely for one of the most improbably located feats of modern construction anywhere in the world.
Via Borsod Online, Index, and the Telegraph
Images via Borsod Online and The Telegraph/Keystone/Valentin Flauraud