The Skinny Bridge, or Magere Brug, would not count as an attraction in most European cities, but in Amsterdam, it does. Compared to the Charles Bridge in Prague, or the Chain Bridge in Budapest, it fades away, but in the context of Amsterdam, it is unique. The bridge as we see it today was built in 1934, and until 1994 it was opened by hand. Since 1994 it is opening itself automatically.
The bridge can be seen in several films, for example, the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever from 1971.
Why is it called a skinny bridge?
There are many legends about the name of the bridge. Many people tell the story of two girls who lived on both sides of the river, and they had to construct a bridge to enjoy each other’s company. The only thing they could afford was a very skinny bridge, and thus it was called the skinny bridge.
Another legend is similar, as the family name of one of the girls was Mager. As a result, the bridge was named after her and became the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).
These are all nice legends, but the truth is different. The bridge was constructed during the Golden Age of the 17th century. But, the Golden Age didn’t last forever, and suddenly the city was in war, and the economy experienced a giant setback. As a result, the big bridge planned for this location couldn’t be finished, and instead, they could only afford a skinny and tiny bridge.
Today, we are happy about the bridge the way it is, and it is a popular place to meet locals. It is trendy in the evenings, with beautiful illumination across the bridge.
Magere Brug pictures