The Brücke von Andau (Hungarian: Andaui-híd or Mosontarcsai-hid) is a small bridge over the Einserkanal/Hansági-főcsatorna, a small river which forms part of the border between Austria and Hungary. It is located near to the village of Andau (Burgenland, Austria).
With the turmoils in summer 1956, more and more Hungarians fled to the west over the border to Austria. Even though it was just a small, wooden bridge over a small river, the bridge at Andau was the escape route for about 70,000 Hungarian people during the Hungarian Revolution.
After crossing the border, fugitives had to walk a nine kilometer long road, the "Road To Freedom" (Fluchtstrasse), to the village of Andau, where they were received with great hospitality by the inhabitants of Andau and the surrounding villages.
On November 21, 1956, the bridge was blasted by Soviet troops.
In 1996, with the 40th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the bridge was rebuilt as a symbol of tolerance and helpfulness. Organised as a joint operation by the Austrian and Hungarian armies, it replaced a stub bridge, which had been built by peasants for transportation reasons. At the same time, the Road Of Freedom was used as an open air exhibition with the title "Road Of Woes", showing about ninety sculptures and other art works by Hungarian and Austrian artists.
As a symbol of freedom, the bridge not only achieved fame with the book The Bridge at Andau by James Michener (1957), but also became a world-known memorial. The Bridge of Andau is also the topic of Der Bockerer III, an Austrian movie dealing with the Hungarian Revolution in a slightly humorous manner.
- From the Wikipedia page .