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Magere Bru

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Magere Brug, 1018 EL Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Beni
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Magere Brug after sunset; the bridge is beautifully illuminated with hundreds of lights, creating a magical atmosphere that's perfect for an evening stroll or photo opportunity. Also, don't miss the chance to see it open for passing boats, which happens several times a day, but catching it at dusk is a truly enchanting sight that many tourists overlook."

What is Magere Brug?

The Magere Brug, or ‘Skinny Bridge’, is one of Amsterdam's most picturesque and historically significant bridges. It is a traditional Dutch drawbridge that spans the Amstel River, connecting the banks at Kerkstraat, between the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals. Its white-painted wooden structure and quaint design have made it one of the most photogenic spots in the city, often featured in films and photographs that capture the essence of Amsterdam.

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As someone who has spent countless hours enjoying the views and ambiance around this area, I can tell you that there’s something truly enchanting about the Magere Brug. Its cozy framework and function as a pedestrian bridge create an intimate atmosphere, especially at night when the bridge is illuminated by over a thousand lights, reflecting off the smooth waters below to create a magical scene.

History of Magere Brug

The history of the Magere Brug is a fascinating blend of urban myth and historical fact. Legend has it that the bridge was originally built in 1691 and named after the wealthy Mager sisters, who lived on opposite sides of the river and had the bridge constructed to make it easier to visit each other. Whether or not the story is true, it adds a delightful intrigue to the bridge’s past.

The Magere Brug has undergone several reconstructions to maintain its integrity and to adapt to a growing city. The most significant of these took place in the 1870s, transitioning the bridge from a wooden structure to a stronger iron and wood composite to accommodate the increasing traffic. The current bridge, which was last reconstructed in 1969, maintains a design that reflects the original architecture, preserving the historical aesthetic of this Amsterdam icon.

It’s worth noting that the term 'magere' means skinny, reflective of the bridge's narrow and functional design. As someone who's traced the architectural evolution of Amsterdam's bridges, I find the Magere Brug’s ability to retain its character through the centuries nothing short of remarkable.

Why is Magere Brug Important?

Magere Brug holds a special place in the heart of Amsterdam, playing a crucial role in the city's cultural and architectural heritage. It represents the rich history of Dutch engineering and the importance of bridges in a city defined by its canals. Moreover, it is said to be one of the finest examples of a traditional Dutch double-swipe (or double-leaf) bascule bridge, which remains operational to this day, opening for boat traffic on the Amstel River.

For locals, the bridge serves as a nostalgic emblem of old Amsterdam. It's not rare to overhear anecdotes of generations who have crossed this bridge, echoing personal histories with the larger narrative of the city's development. For visitors, it is an indispensable checkpoint for anyone seeking to immerse themselves into the charm of Amsterdam, encapsulating a story that interweaves the past and present.

Furthermore, being intertwined with local folklore, such as the tale of the two Mager sisters, adds an extra layer of allure, making it not just a piece of infrastructure but also a subject of curiosity and romance. The magical light display at night heightens its importance, transforming it into a luminous spectacle and a beacon for romantic evening strolls or engagements.

Things to Do & See at Magere Brug

Visiting the Magere Brug is more than just crossing a bridge; it's about embracing the spirit of Amsterdam. Take a leisurely walk across it to fully appreciate the craftsmanship and detail of its structure. Photography enthusiasts will find the bridge, particularly during the blue hour, offers an impeccable backdrop for capturing the essence of Amsterdam with its picturesque views of the river and cityscape.

For those with a passion for naval history, watching boats navigate through the bridge when it's opened is a small yet fascinating glimpse into Amsterdam’s bustling waterways. The surrounding area is also home to various cozy cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a waterside meal with the bridge in full view, indulging in local cuisine while soaking in the atmosphere.

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During festive seasons or special events, the Magere Brug becomes an integral part of celebrations. Take, for instance, the annual King's Day festivities or the Amsterdam Light Festival when the bridge often features unique decorations or lighting arrangements, enhancing its entrancing appeal. Lastly, don't miss the chance to take a canal boat tour that passes underneath the Magere Brug, offering unparalleled views from the water and an opportunity to learn more intricate details from a local’s perspective.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Magere Brug and why is it famous?

The Magere Brug is a historic bridge in Amsterdam that spans the Amstel River. It is a traditional double-leaf Dutch draw-bridge known for its picturesque white wooden structure and the romantic views it offers, making it a famous spot for tourists and locals alike.

How old is the Magere Brug in Amsterdam?

The original Magere Brug was built in 1691. However, the bridge has been rebuilt several times, with the current bridge dating back to 1934.

Can pedestrians and cyclists use the Magere Brug?

Yes, the Magere Brug is accessible to both pedestrians and cyclists, providing a convenient and scenic route across the Amstel River.

Does the Magere Brug still open for boat traffic?

Yes, the Magere Brug is a functional drawbridge that still opens at regular intervals to allow boat traffic to pass through on the Amstel River.

Are there any special events associated with the Magere Brug?

The Magere Brug is a popular location for events such as King's Day celebrations and it is often beautifully illuminated in the evenings, making it a prominent feature during the Amsterdam Light Festival.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Magere Brug, 1018 EL Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps