Bridge and gold coins uncovered as Danube sinks to record low in Budapest

Bridge and gold coins uncovered as Danube sinks to record low in Budapest
Copyright Dániel Kalmár / MTI Fotó
By Chris HarrisRita Palfi
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Secrets of the Danube revealed. How drought is helping to uncover Hungary’s rich history.


Record low water levels in the Danube have uncovered parts of an old Budapest bridge blown up by the Nazis in the final months of World War II.

Pictures have emerged of the structure — which linked the districts of Buda and Pest in the Hungarian capital — just under the surface of the water.

But remains of the old bridge are not the only revelations from the river’s unprecedented water levels.

Two-thousand gold and silver coins were among items discovered around 15 kilometres downstream from Budapest, at Erd.

They are believed to come from a ship that sunk in the middle of the 18th century, according to Ferenczy Museum.

Credit: MTI Fotó
Archaeologists uncovering items thought to come from an 18th century ship that sunk in the Danube near Budapest.Credit: MTI Fotó

Archaeologists helped to excavate the haul — which also included weapons, spades, cannonballs and swords — and are racing to recover everything before water levels rise.

The Danube in Budapest has fallen to a record low of 38 centimetres after drought-like conditions in parts of central Europe this year.

It comes two weeks after the skeleton of a man missing for more than seven years was thought to have been found in a car further along the river, north of Budapest.

The man, 28, who had been struggling with depression, went missing in January 2011, according to Hungarian news outlet Index.

While tests have yet to confirm the skeleton’s identity, the car is owned by the mother of the missing man, media police say.

Credit: MTI Fotó
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