Vier Heemskinderenbrug some history
There has been a bridge here for centuries. Daniël Stalpaert drew on his map of 1662 a bridge over the Leydesche graft in the quay of the Heere graft. The question is whether the bridge was already there at that time, the area south of the Leidsegracht was still undeveloped at the time and is more on the map as an idea than actually filled in. See Image 1. The bridge itself though has two cornerstones with “Anno” and “1722” on them which suggests the current bridge actually dates from 1722 and not 1662.
One of those monuments closeby Herengracht 394 has a gable stone under the middle window on the first floor with the Vier Heemskinderen on horseback, the namesake of this bridge. See Image 2.
One thing worth mentioning is that the historical presence of this bridge, as depicted on Daniël Stalpaert’s 1662 map, reveals the significance of this architectural landmark. During that period, the development of the Leidsegracht area was still in progress, and the presence of the bridge on the map reflected more of an anticipated concept rather than an actual structure. However, it is noteworthy that the current bridge, with its distinctive cornerstones marked “Anno” and “1722,” suggests that the bridge was constructed in 1722 rather than in 1662. It is fascinating to observe how this bridge’s historical context intertwines with the neighboring monument, located at Herengracht 394, which features a gable stone portraying the equestrian figures of the Vier Heemskinderen, after whom the bridge is named. These remarkable historical elements contribute to the rich heritage of this prominent location.
Image 1 The bridge on the map of Stalpaert from 1662 on the border between red and white
Image 2 Vier Heemskinderen on horseback at herengracht 394