Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge, Amsterdam

4 out of 5 stars 25 Reviews

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    Skinny Bridge
    by datapanik
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    by nicolaitan
  • Magere Bridge
    Magere Bridge
    by nicolaitan
  • datapanik's Profile Photo

    Skinny Bridge

    by datapanik Written Oct 11, 2014

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    One of the most beautiful of Amsterdam’s many bridges is the famous Magere Brug or Skinny Bridge across the river Amstel. The name originates from the first bridge to be built on this site which was indeed very narrow but the bridge has since been twice rebuilt. At night, the bridge is spectacularly illuminated by over a thousand light bulbs.

    Skinny Bridge
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    Magere Bridge

    by nicolaitan Written Mar 16, 2013

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    Among the 1500+ bridges spanning Amsterdam's 165 canals over 75 km in total length, the Magere (Skinny) Bridge is arguably the most famous. The first bridge at this site, built in 1691 to span the Amstel River between Prinsengracht and Keisersgracht, may indeed have been narrow but numerous reconstructions, the latest in 1969, have widened it considerably. First mechanized in the 1990"s, traffic was limited to pedestrians and bicycles after 2003. Today it is a prime tourist magnet, especially when lit at night by over 1200 little bulbs.

    The Magere is a bascule or draw bridge, which can be single or double hung. Elevation is by the use of counterweights, low energy. Bascule bridges are found all over the world, perhaps the best known the London Bridge, a single hung drawbridge. Canal tour boats are low enough to pass but because of the heavy traffic on the Amstel, the bridge typically is raised several times an hour. It appears in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever among others. Forgotten in history is its role as an accumulation point for deportation of Jews during WWII.

    There are several other double hung drawbridges in Amsterdam, less trafficked and more available for photography and observation. One is over a little canal adjacent the Hermitage Museum ( images 3.4 ).

    Magere Bridge

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    Magere Brug

    by ophiro Written May 3, 2012

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    The skinny bridge , .Magere brug, is a small wooden painted bridge over Amstel river.
    The bridge was first built in 1691 although replaced a few times due to poor condition.

    Since 2003 you can only walk or use bicycles to pass this bridge.

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    The Skinny on the Skinny Bridge

    by von.otter Written Jan 19, 2012

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    “In Amsterdam the water is the mistress and the land the vassal. Throughout the city there are as many canals and drawbridges as bracelets on a Gypsy’s bronzed arms.”
    — Felix Marti-Ibanez (1912-1972, Spanish author)

    MODES OF TRANSPORT In Amsterdam, getting about on the water is an age-old necessity.

    Magerebrug, Skinny Bridge, spans the River Amstel. It is built in the Old Dutch wooden double-swipe design. Tradition tells us that the bridge was named for the Mager sisters, who lived on opposite sides of the river. They had the bridge built to make it easier to visit one another. The more likely explanation for the name comes from its narrow width; mager means skinny in Dutch. Its slight width made it difficult for two pedestrians to pass side-by-side. A wider bridge replaced the narrow one in 1871, but the name stuck. Magerebrug was part of the scenery in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds are Forever.

    Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011 Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011 Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011 Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011 Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011
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    The skinny

    by lina112 Updated Jun 4, 2011

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    The Skinny Bridge, or Magere Brug in Dutch, is Amsterdam's most famous bridge. It crosses the Amstel river between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Is a wooden bridge in a typical Dutch design, known as a double-swipe bridge. It has two sides that can be opened, and usually are simultaneously, and counterweights to balance the weight and make it easier to open.

    El Puente Delgado, o Brug Magere en holandés, es el puente más famoso de Amsterdam. Cruza el río Amstel, entre Keizersgracht y Prinsengracht. El puente es de madera y diseñado en estilo holandes. Tiene dos lados que se pueden abrir, y por lo general son al mismo tiempo, y contrapesos para equilibrar el peso y hacer que sea más fácil de abrir.

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    Skinny Bridge

    by dustmon Updated Jan 4, 2011

    The Magere Brug, or the Skinny Bridge, goes across the River Amstel near the Carre Theater
    and at night there are usually tons of lights making for a lovely nightime visit to the area.
    Mager means skinny in Dutch------This bridge was constructed in 1871.

    Magere Brug
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    Not so Skinny Bridge

    by darkjedi Updated Aug 27, 2009

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    The Skinny bridge or Magere Brug is one of the most beautiful bridges in the city. Locals say that the bridge was named after the Mager Sisters (mager is Dutch for skinny). These two well-to-do sisters lived on opposite sides of the river. They are said to have had the wooden bridge built to make it easier to visit one another. The real explanation is more down to earth, however. The bridge used to be so narrow that it was hard for two pedestrians to pass one another. When traffic along the Amstel increased, a wider one replaced the narrow bridge in 1871. Since that time, the word 'skinny' no longer really applies. Thousands of fairy lights romantically illuminate the Skinny Bridge at night. It is very popular with lovers and photographers.

    Not so skinny bridge Roadway Mark at Magere Brug Distant bridge
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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug, or 'Skinny Bridge'

    by mallyak Written Sep 6, 2008

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    The famous skinny bridge across the river Amstel and opposite of the Carré theatre, is an Old Dutch design wooden bridge known as a double-swipe (balanced) bridge. Tradition relates that the bridge was named after the sisters Mager, who were supposed to live on opposite sides of the river. They are said to have had the wooden bridge built to make it easier to visit one another. However it appears more likely, that the original bridge acquired the name from being so narrow (mager means skinny in Dutch), that it was hard for two pedestrians to pass one along another.

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    A Local Landmark-The Magere(Skinny) Bridge

    by hquittner Written Sep 15, 2006

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    The tram ride from our hotel to the Rijksmuseum took us over the Amstel River on the Sarphatistraat bridge. We looked North past the locks and saw the bridge. It has a wild history. It was built in 1671 , the architect's name-Magere (like mager- "skinny" in Dutch), which became true. So it was rebuilt in the 19C (wider). In 1929 it was replaced by a metal electrified bridge. There was an outcry about destroying a landmark and this was replaced by a wider wooden replica of the original (still electrified) using the original plans. The form of the bridge is pleasing (like the covered bridges in the U.S.), van Gogh painted one in the outskirts of Arles and it is now a protected monument. It is said to be one of the most photographed sites in Amsterdam. (I counted at least 17 pictures at this Tip on VT ranging froma beautiful night shot to inviblr or misidentified ones.) It is reproduced in model at Madurodam (see my Tip there).

    Amstel River Locks and Magere Bridge (behind)
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  • Magere Brug

    by Wallace&Murron Updated Jun 24, 2006

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    The Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) is probably the most famous bridge in Amsterdam and one I recommend all VT's see. Its got a concrete 'ramp' on either side and the bridge itself is made from the most beautiful white wood. At night its lit up.

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    Mager (Skinny) Bridge

    by jo104 Written Sep 12, 2005

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    Some local people say that the bridge was named after the Mager Sisters (mager is Dutch for skinny). These two well-to-do sisters lived on opposite sides of the river. They are said to have had the wooden bridge built to make it easier to visit one another.

    The real explanation is more down to earth, however. The bridge used to be so narrow that it was hard for two pedestrians to pass one another. When traffic along the Amstel increased, a wider one replaced the narrow bridge in 1871. Since that time, the word skinny no longer really applies.

    It is one of the most beautiful bridges of Holland's capital city. Thousands of fairy lights romantically illuminate the Skinny Bridge at night. It is very popular with lovers and photographers.

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    Magere Brug - the "skinny bridge"

    by Airpunk Updated Aug 27, 2005

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    Probably, this is Amsterdam's most famous drawbridge. A legend says that it was built by two sisters who wanted to visit each otherfor morning coffee. It was build in 1672 and replaced several times. The current one is from 1969. Come by when it's dark. Then the Magere Brug is illuminated!

    Amsterdam - Magere Brug
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    Amstel River

    by Yorick12 Written May 22, 2005

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    This photo was taken down the canal past the Skinny Bridge. The canal and this old bridge were more impressive than the Skinny Bridge itself. Renting bikes are a great way to see this whole area. Just follow the canals you can't get lost!

    Amstel River
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  • Tedjudyintriped's Profile Photo

    Canels and Bridges

    by Tedjudyintriped Written Feb 28, 2005

    by tomptThe Magere brug (skinny bridge) is one of the most famous bridges in Amsterdam. It is a wooden double liftbridge with 9 passages with 20th century origin. The name refers to an older bridge here that was narrow, or skinny. This bridge dated back to 1691. In 1871 this bridge was demolished because it was a ruin. The next bridge was a wooden bridge that hold for 50 years. It was then thought there should be a modern stone bridge here, but government made other decissions. The bridge was rebuilt to look like the old one. Untill 1994 it was manually opened, but legislation made an end to this. The manual labour was too heavy.

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  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug

    by xiquinho Updated Nov 10, 2004

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    Skinny Bridge. Of Amsterdam's 60-plus drawbridges, the Magere is the most famous. Whether or not this is mainly because of its name (which derives from "meager" in Dutch), the legend of its birth -- it was purportedly built by two sisters living on opposite sides of the Amstel who wanted an efficient way of sharing that grandest of Dutch traditions, the gezellig (socially cozy) midmorning coffee break -- or because it is spectacularly lighted with electric lights at night, we can't say. Have your camera ready at all hours, since the bridge is often drawn up to let boats pass by. Many replacements to the original bridge, constructed in 1672, have come and gone, and this, dating to 1969, is but the latest.

    Magere Brug

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