Bridges of Amsterdam
With its maze of criss-crossing canals, it is no wonder Amsterdam has so many picturesque bridges adding to its lovely cityscape. With more than 1,200 bridges, many have a story to tell. Some are historic (the oldest is from 1648), some are romantic and several are awe-inspiring feats of engineering.
Head over to the corner of Reguliersgracht and Herengracht canal (on the odd-numbered side) to catch a view of 15 of Amsterdam’s bridges in one fell swoop. Or meander through the city by bike or foot to check out some notable bridges. During the day, they are beautiful, but at night some are elevated further with dazzling illumination adding to the charm.
Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic drawbridges. Featured in many films, the white-coated bridge is easily recognisable. There is a legend that the bridge is named after the Skinny Sisters. These two sisters each lived on one side of the river. It is said that the wooden bridge was built so that they could visit each other more often.
The Torensluis Bridge was completed in 1648 and is Amsterdam’s oldest bridge still in its original state. It was once part of a moat around Amsterdam, so it is also the widest bridge in the city. Look for the barred windows under the bridge that serve as a reminder of the former prison once housed there.
Python Bridge is one of the most unusual bridges in Amsterdam, as its red snake-like shape bridges Sporenburg and Borneo Island. It is also one of the newest, built in 2001 and winning the International Footbridge Award in 2002.
Jan Schaefer Bridge is another of Amsterdam’s newer bridges. It passes through the middle of Pakhuis De Zwijgerand spans the 200 metre-wide IJ Harbour. Every five years the bridge is dismantled for Sail Amsterdam.
Nescio Bridge spans the Rijn Canal in Amsterdam’s IJburg neighbourhood. It is the Netherland’s first suspension bridge and the longest at 780 metres long. The bridge was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, who also designed the Millennium Bridge in London.