Monday, September 15, 2008
Stamp Issue : 1968-04-09
Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") is a bridge spanning the River Amstel in the city centre of Amsterdam. It connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat street, between Keizersgracht canal and Prinsengracht canal.
The Magere Brug is a bascule bridge made of white painted wood. It was built in 1934. The first bridge at this site was built in 1691 as Kerkstraatbrug and had 13 passes. Because this bridge was very small, the locals called it Magere brug, which means small or skinny bridge. In 1871 the state of the bridge was so bad that it was demolished en replaced by a wooden bridge with nine passes. Fifty years later this bridge also needed to be replaced. Architect P.L. Kramer made a few designs of steel and stone, but the city decided to replace the bridge with a new bridge that looked the same as the last one, only slightly bigger. In 1934 the bridge was demolished and replaced. The last major renovation was done in 1969. Until 1994 the bridge was opened by hand, now it's opened automatically.
Since 2003, only pedestrians and cyclists are allowed to use the bridge. Many times a day it is opened in order to let ships pass; the boats used for sightseeing tours are low enough to pass underneath the bridge when closed. The bridge is decorated with 1200 light bulbs that are turned on in the evening.