The Kattensloot is a canal¹ in Amsterdam’s Westerpark district that connects the Kostverlorenvaart with the Singelgracht.
The waterway forms part of the Netherlands’ Standing Mast Route, which provides sailboats with masts of up to 30 metres an inland passage from Zeeland to Groningen.
Spanning the Kattensloot at its eastern end, Bridge 155 is a large bascule bridge in the late Amsterdam School style. It opened in 1954, and the drawbridge remains operational 24 hours a day².
According to Amsterdam’s Centre for Architecture (Arcam), the Kattenslootbrug control house was designed by Piet Kramer – one of the most important achitects of the Amsterdam School movement – before he left the city’s bridge division in 1952.
In some circles, Kattenslootbrug is affectionately named Barbecue Bridge on account of the unfortunate pigeons who fly back to roost while the bridge is still closing. You don’t need us to describe the sight as you sail underneath.
¹ For more information on ‘sloots’, see Bridge 27.
² Although Kattenslootbrug continues to provide 24-hour transit for boats, the number of bridge openings has declined from 15,000 per year in the 1950s (more than 40 times a day) to less than 3,500 per year.