Amsterdam's Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") over the Amstel river (Photo: Roman Schmitz/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Amsterdam's Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") over the Amstel river (Photo: Roman Schmitz/Wikimedia Commons)
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 - 10:55
City risks forgetting historic Amsterdam bridge names
The names of 89 Amsterdam bridges do not meet the city's naming requirements and will be scrapped. These bridges will officially be registered by number until a suitable name is found, Het Parool reports. Many of Amsterdam bridges were never properly registered by name or number. The college of mayor and aldermen are now working through them to make sure everything is in order. One of the requirements is that a bridge name can not be similar to other names present in the city, in order to avoid confusion. For this reason the Artis Bridge, the Station Bridge and the Jan van Galen Bridge is going down in the Basic Register for Addresses and Buildings as bridge 264, bridge 306 and bridge 382. Another requirement prohibits bridge names that are derived from the names of existing commercial institutions. For that reason the names of the Felix Mertis Bridge at Felix Meritis, the TunFun on Mr. Visserplein and the Wagon Lits Bridge at Central Station are being scrapped. A third requirement states that "if the name refers to a historical fact, then there must be adequate connection with this particular place." For this reason the names of the Zuid-Afrika bridge (South Africa bridge in English) and the Boereoorlog bridge (Boer war bridge - Anglo Boer War happened in South Africa between 1899 and 1902) in Oost do not pass muster. Nor do the Noordpool bridge (North Pole bridge in English) and the Bananen bridge (Banana bridge) in West. These bridges will continue as bridge 256, 427, 349 and 602 respectively. But all hope is not lost for the names of these 89 bridges. Amsterdam residents who think the bridges should keep their unofficial names, can make their opinion known to the college until May 23rd. If there are "reasonable grounds" to keep a name, the municipality will reconsider. Last month the municipality registered 51 bridges whose names did comply to all the requirements. These include the Magere Bridge, the Berlage Bridge and Nescois Bridge.