Skinny Bridge - Skinny Bridge information and pictures

The quaint Magere Brug or Skinny Bridge spans a section of the Amstel River between the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals. The wooden Skinny Bridge was first built in 1691 during Holland’s Golden Age in a unique double-swipe design, meaning it opens from both sides to allow ships to pass through. The bridge has become a beloved Amsterdam landmark. It illuminates the Amstel River at night with thousands of tiny lights.

The Legend of the Skinny Dutch Sisters - The story of the bridge’s name involves two skinny Dutch sisters, the Magere sisters, who were said to live on opposite sides of the Amstel River and built the bridge so they could visit one another. This tale lends a fanciful quality to the already beautiful bridge. The story conjures up visions of two 17th century Dutch woman crossing a one-lane footbridge for their daily exchange of news and gossip. However, the Skinny Bridge most likely got its name from the bridge’s narrow width.

The original 17th century bridge was torn down and replaced in 1871 with a wider footbridge. The bridge was replaced two more times in 1934 and 1969. Although it’s no longer skinny, the nickname remained. Each time the bridge was replaced the architects stayed true to its original wooden design. The bridge was cranked opened by hand until 1994, when it was finally automated.

Today, pedestrians and bicyclists patiently wait to cross the Skinny Bridge over this busy expanse of the Amstel River. The bridge opens and closes throughout the day and night to allow the boat traffic to pass through. The Skinny Bridge, aglow with over a thousand white lights, is a favorite spot for couples to steal a kiss under the nighttime sky.

Where is Skinny Bridge: over Amstel River between the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals

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