Bridge of Fifteen Bridges

Amsterdam is the city of gabled buildings, tranquil canals and ‘bridge of fifteen bridges’. Canals and waterways crisscross the historic centre. Working barges sail past. Houseboats festooned with flower boxes bob at their moorings. A couple reclining in a dinghy, their noses buried in books have no indentation of sailing today. Houseboat residents soak up the sun.

                                                                           Houseboat on Brouwersgracht

More Bridges than Venice

Amsterdam is a city of water and bridges. A maze of canals divides the centre into islands. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and more bridges than London. You need not count them because a tourist brochure says that 1,281 bridges span the canals. Stand in the middle of any bridge for the best sight-seeing spot. A tree-lined canal stretches in front of you. Red-shuttered warehouses, gabled mansions and bicycles provide a scenic background for photos. Every corner you turn, you will find another bridge.

Bridge of Fifteen Bridges

Reguliersgracht is a strong competitor for Amsterdam’s most photo-friendly canal; humpback bridges cross the water every hundred metres or so. A jumble of gabled houses lines the street. Stand on the bridge that spans Reguliersgracht with Herengracht for a spectacular view of fifteen bridges. Six arched bridges in a row stretch in front of you. On your left, you will see six more bridges across Herengracht. On your right there are another two.

 

Disappointed?

Have you done a quick count and did you arrive at the disappointing total of only fourteen bridges? The fifteenth bridge is the one on which you are standing.

                                                                   Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam seen from the bridge

photo credit Marianne Crone