|Running along||Oude Spiegelstraat|
A key entry point to the historic, UNESCO-listed Nine Streets district of central Amsterdam, Bridge 5 (unofficially named Raambrug, or Frame Bridge) is a wide beam bridge composed of sweeping steel girders, reinforced concrete and forged steel railings. The brick abutments and piers are adorned with granite detail.
Following extensive renovation work, this municipal monument officially reopened on April 10, 2014. During the refurbishment, the local authorities attached a placard to a temporary bridge that provided a history of the structure. It read:
Bridge 5, spanning the Singel and connecting the Raamsteeg to the Oude Spiegelstraat, was originally built as a wooden-beam bridge. It was replaced by a stone-arch bridge in 1753 and steel girders were installed in 1910. Now, in 2013 the bridge is in urgent need of repairs and resoration.
For many years the Singel canal in Amsterdam – also the location of the city wall – marked the city limits. The construction of the semi-circular Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht began here exactly four centuries ago, in 1613. Less than 50 years later, Amsterdam’s canal network had expaneded to 14 kilometres and included 80 bridges.
The name ‘Raamsteeg’ comes from the wooden frames that once stood here and were used to dry and stretch woollen fabrics. The Oude Spiegelstraat takes its name from the successful soap-manufacturing Spieghel family. It is hard to imagine now, but at that time, people who lived on this street were not considered residents of the city itself (the so-called ‘Poorters’), which meant that they had to live beyond the gates until 1811. Bridge 5 was known as the ‘Appelmarckt’ (Apple Market) until 1894.
Since reopening, Bridge 5 became a testbed for the city’s new, energy efficient LED bridge lighting system, with trials continuing until December 2015.