Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge, Amsterdam

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 24 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge
    by nicolaitan
  • Magere Bridge
    Magere Bridge
    by nicolaitan
  • Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge
    by nicolaitan
  • jo104's Profile Photo

    Mager (Skinny) Bridge

    by jo104 Written Sep 12, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug, or 'Skinny Bridge'

    by mallyak Written Sep 6, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • tompt's Profile Photo

    Magere brug

    by tompt Written Mar 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mager brug, Amsterdam

    The 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.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    Magere brug

    by Helga67 Updated Oct 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Magere brug

    One of the most photographed bridges in Amsterdam is the magere brug (skinny bridge). It's a lovely wooden white bridge that opens several times a day to have the barges pass. It dates from the 18th century and is probably called skinny because of the architect's name or its narrow passage.
    Don't miss the bridge at night, it is beautiful lit with many lights.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo

    Magere Bridge

    by nicolaitan Written Mar 16, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    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 ).

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pavlik_NL's Profile Photo

    Bridges - Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)

    by Pavlik_NL Written Dec 20, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The bridge gracefully opening to let the ships pas

    The most famous of Amsterdam bridges is for sure the "magere brug" / skinny bridge. This double lifting bridge has nine sail-through ways of which the middle one (with the actual lifting part) offers the highest possibilities for ships. The bridge connects both sides of the Amstel iver and was started in 1671 with two bridgeheads. After that it was very long silent around the construction. The bridge is called "skinny", because the road over it is rather long but not very wide. The now-a-days variant is already wider then the original, that used to be really narrow. The bridge is also seen in many paintings of Amsterdam and the Amstel river through the centuries.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jarin's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge

    by Jarin Written Jun 11, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge

    Across the river Amstel was built here a wooden drawbridge at the end of 17th century.
    Some local people say that the bridge was named after the Mager Sisters (mager = 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.
    But it is more likely that the name “skinny” is because that the bridge used to be very narrow.
    However today’s bridge is wider than the original bridge and dates from 1969 and belongs to the best known bridges from Amsterdam (from abt. 1.300 bridges).
    Hundreds of lights romantically illuminate the Skinny Bridge at night.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bridges

    by Yosemite_44 Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The many canals in Amsterdam called for bridges. That's why you'll see lots of them. The most photographed one probably is the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) that spans over the river Amstel and consists of two parts that can be raised to let boats pass by.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug - the "skinny bridge"

    by Airpunk Updated Aug 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Amsterdam - Magere Brug

    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!

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • darkjedi's Profile Photo

    Not so Skinny Bridge

    by darkjedi Updated Aug 27, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    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.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Photography
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    A Local Landmark-The Magere(Skinny) Bridge

    by hquittner Written Sep 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Amstel River Locks and Magere Bridge (behind)

    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).

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

  • Magere Brug

    by Wallace&Murron Updated Jun 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    The Skinny on the Skinny Bridge

    by von.otter Written Jan 19, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Magerebrug, Amsterdam, April 2011
    4 more images

    “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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Festivals
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • lina112's Profile Photo

    The skinny

    by lina112 Updated Jun 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    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.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • xiquinho's Profile Photo

    Magere Brug

    by xiquinho Updated Nov 10, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Magere Brug

    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.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Amsterdam

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

104 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge
3.5 out of 5 stars
123 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
444 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
3.0 out of 5 stars
62 Opinions
0.2 miles away
Show Prices

View all Amsterdam hotels