The Haarlemmersluis Bridge 14 is also known as the Nieuwe Haarlemmersluis, to distinguish it from the Oude Haarlemmersluis, which was located in the Martelaarsgracht before it was removed when that canal was filled in in 1882.
The original (Oude) Haarlemmersluis was built to replace the Spaarndammersluis that was demolished in 1506. That lock was located at the junction of Nieuwendijk and Martelaarsgracht. On the city map of Cornelis Anthonisz. from 1544, the lock is clearly recognisable by its four wheels. The lock disappeared when the Martelaarsgracht was filled in in 1882.
A cartouche dating back to 1596 from the Old Haarlemmersluis is now located in the wall of the former synagogue at 91 Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat the cartouche was placed in 1957 with the coat of arms of Amsterdam with two lions and the imperial crown.
The Nieuwe Haarlemmersluis was completed in 1602 (so not really that new but everything is relative I guess), as a lock in the sea dyke around the city, to prevent the seawater from flowing into the canals at high tide. At the site of the new lock was originally the old city wall which was demolished from 1601 to expand the city westwards and the lock immediately became an important part of the city’s infrastructure because a series of markets were held along the Singel, all of which were served by barges. Barges also went back and forth to the breweries on Brouwersgracht, there were ferry services, milk barges from Waterland and construction traffic to the new canals in the canal belt.
Already by 1617 the lock construction needed to be renewed and to relieve the pressure on the Haarlemmersluis the city decided to build yet another new lock, the Eenhoornsluis, where the Korte Prinsengracht flows into the IJ. The current Haarlemmersluis dates from 1681. The bridge was built in 1809 and widened for the horse tram in 1879.
At the Nieuwe Haarlemmersluis, the ebb and flow height in the IJ River was measured daily. The data showed that between 1683 and 1684, the average nightly flood level of the IJ water was half an inch higher than the city buoy level, later called Amsterdams Peil.
The area around the lock was a fish market for centuries. The Amsterdam herring trade was concentrated along the quay on the IJ, between the Martelaarsgracht and the Haarlemmersluis, the “Haringpakkerij” with the Haringpakkerstoren at its centre. Here, the herring was inspected, rinsed clean, salted again, cured and traded. In 1662 the Kleine Vismarkt (Small Fish Market) was established at the lock, to distinguish it from the Grote Vismarkt on Dam Square. After the Haringpakkerstoren was demolished in 1829 the herring trade disappeared from the area around the lock.