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Magere Brug in Amsterdam

Of Amsterdam’s 60-plus drawbridges, Magere Brug is the most famous and it provides gorgeous views of the Amstel and surrounding area. It’s said to have been first built in the 1660s, around the time of the construction of the Eastern Canal Ring. While there are many theories about the origins of its name, the most colorful tells a tale of two sisters living on opposite sides of the Amstel who wanted an efficient way of sharing that grandest of Dutch traditions: the gezellige (socially cozy) mid-morning coffee break. Whether “mager” referred to their surname, slim physiques, or possibly even their miserliness, we’ll never know. Walk by at night when it’s spectacularly lighted. Many replacements to the narrow original bridge have come and gone; the current one dates to 1931, but bears a close resemblance to the 19th-century design.

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