A brief history
As the city grew, Amsterdam's city council were keen to build a new bridge that would connect the islands and include a tram line. The plan was for an elegant bridge that spoke of luxury, a perfect way to show off during the Colonial Exhibition of 1883. City architect Bastiaan de Greef and his assistant Willem Springer were asked to come up with a design. Their initial design was in the style of Pont Neuf in Paris, which would have sunk into the mud in Amsterdam. A design with lower arches was chosen, and though not needed in the slow-flowing Amstel, the solid bridge pillar design necessary to keep ice floes in the fast-flowing Seine off the bridge was kept.
The bridge was opened in 1883 to a great deal of criticism. Many people felt the bridge was too pompous for Amsterdam.