Bridges of Amsterdam | Bruggen van Amsterdam

Discovering Amsterdam's Bridges: A Guide to the City's Iconic Landmarks

Angenietje Swarthofbrug – Bridge 67 | History and information

Modern history of bridge 67 in Amsterdam’s historic canal ring begins around 1879, when they wanted to lower the bridge height, but the municipality did not have enough money to do so. Back then, there was still talk of an arched bridge; in 1887, a petroleum company still got permission to store 6,000 litres under two arches. This could continue until 1889, when the municipality contracted “The renovation of the bridge over the Prinsengracht near the Leidschegracht with, among other things, the supply of 18 tonnes of beam iron.” On 6 May, the bridge closed indefinitely to all traffic, including shipping, only pedestrians could use an auxiliary bridge. In February 1890, it could be reported that the new bridge was ready. The design came from Public Works Amsterdam, where Bastiaan de Greef and Willem Springer were working at the time. The “egghead-like” finish of the piers is said to be by Springer. However, it is not clear whether they were also responsible for the design or just looking over the shoulders of employees. In 1913, the bridge faced another hazard. The municipality got the idea of draining the Leidsegracht and, by that measure, being able to build a new “highway” to the west; plans remained. The current bridge dates from 1988, when the municipality (still) chose to restore the iron plate/beam bridge instead of replacing it with an old-style vault bridge.

The bridge had an untraceable naming. It was known as the Kleine Brouwerssluis until April 2016, when the municipality of Amsterdam decided that untraceable names would be scrapped, and the bridge has since gone unnamed. A factor in this will have been that Amsterdam also has a Brouwersgracht and a Brouwerssluis, which, however, are more than a kilometre north. In December 2021, the bridge was named after all: Angenietje Swartbrug. Angenietje was one of Amsterdam’s minnows, women who took in foundlings through Amsterdam’s Stadsaalmoezeniershuis, which was located here at 436 Prinsengracht. Angenietje Swart is said to have cared for 126 foundlings.

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