Eiland van Brienenoord


An inconspicuous bridge

You enter this wonderful island by the wooden lift-bridge on the right. It is so narrow that only one car can pass over it at a time.

The pier extends 130m into the river. The large limestone rocks (with lichen) give it an alpine atmosphere.

Unexpected wilderness

If you walk to the other end of the island you find wonderful wild places along the banks. Toppling willow trees. Assorted debris, old bricks, driftwood, plastic bottles.

In the background one of the 20m high pylons of the Van Brienenoord bridge. You can walk under the bridge and admire the monumental concrete architecture.

I visited this island in January '99. The bleak winter light was very fitting for this place.

To make it even more romantic a fisherman floated silently on the water of the "Zuiddiepje". In the foreground more wild willow trees and in the background the sand and gravel silo's of the "De Boo" warehouse.

Remains of the metro-tunnel dock

Around 1960 (?) the tunnel elements of the first metro-line were built in this dock. Then the dock was filled with water and the elements were floated to their destination. The 10m high wall separates the dock from the river.
I asked my son to stand on top of the wall to give you an impression of it's size.

In the 30 years that it stands unused many trees have sprouted on top.

The wall is hollow on te inside. You can peer down through small cracks and holes. But you see only darkness.

The basin measures approximately 50 x 100 meters. On all the maps it is shown as an area filled with water (blue) but in reality it is only filled with mud and assorted debris. Car tyres, bicicles and God knows what else. Small pools of water are covered with a poisonous looking blue layer.
The low winter sunlight lights up the reeds on the other side of the basin. The high concrete tower is probably a water inlet. You can stand on top after passing over a rotten wooden bridge. It is hollow on the inside but all hatches are securely locked.

Notice the lovely Van Brienenoord bridge in the background. It has a grand scale, simplicity and harmonious proportions.


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1999 Petr Kazil - 20 July 1999