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Herend Lion On Pedestal. From Europe to Africa and Asia, lions have been associated with strength, grace and nobility for thousands of years. Furthermore, it is their association with power that has led many different cultures to depict lions as sentinels standing guard at the entrances to revered places. Hungarian sculptors have continued this same tradition, and a tour around Budapest reveals numerous examples from the Hungarian Parliament building to the lions gate entrance of the Royal Palace. However, the most prominent lions in Budapest are those flanking the citys famous and oft-photographed Chain Bridge. The first permanent connection between the Buda and Pest sides of the city (split by the Danube river), this suspension bridge (built in 1849) ignited the economic revival that would lead to Budapest's golden century. Guarding the historic bridge on both sides, the two pairs of stately lions were created in 1852 by Hungarian sculptor Jnos Marschalk. Fittingly, these sentinel lions remained intact (and on duty) when the rest of the bridge was destroyed in World War II (it was rebuilt in 1949).