Bridge 50 history and information
The old iron bridge had wooden slats as a road surface, which gives the bridge the nickname Latjesbrug.
It had previous names though Pestbrug (plague bridge) and Gasthuisbrug (Guest House bridge) originating from the former Pesthuis, later the Buitengasthuis, which was located here.
The previous iron drawbridge was a design by Wichert Arend de Graafop, which at the time was praised for its plainness. It was a sister of the Westerkeersluis (bridge 346) in the Tasmanstraat over the Westerkanaal (also removed later). After the tug of war about the route of the IJtunnel began with all its consequences, such as the redevelopment of streets, squares, and the filling of canals. The bridge was out of service in 1938 due to rust. As the delivery of the IJtunnel approached it was necessary to adapt this bridge as well. From 1962 onwards, a breakthrough was forced for traffic to and from the north in the Rapenburgstraat in the expectation that the amount of traffic would increase, Dirk Sterenberg designed a bridge with a width of 24 meters. The demolition work began on January 12, 1967. Sterenberg designed a bridge that reminds us of Piet Kramer’s Amsterdam School Bridges with the quayside and abutments. Other similar elements are the terraces next to the bridge and decorated bridge balustrades designed by Herman van der Heide. For the surrounding area, it became a huge steel colossus, resembling the MS Vaz Dias bridge a little further on. The project was completed in October 1968 and the bridge has hardly been changed since then. The bridge however now seems too big for the traffic after a change in policy towards cars in Amsterdam over the years.
Pictures from the archives
1 The Latjesbrug (Bridge 50) over the Nieuwe Herengracht, seen from the Plantage Doklaan Martelhoff, J.H. 1923
2 The construction of the new bridge for the Plantage Doklaan: bridge number 50 (Latjesbrug). Arsath Ro’is, J.M. C March 26, 1968
3 In the foreground the construction site of the Latjesbrug. Stam, Jan (1918-1980)
4. Aerial photo in a southeasterly direction. In the middle left the IJ-Tunnel with the Oosterdok on both sides. In the top right the Nieuwe Herengracht with