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Bizarre reason houses in Amsterdam have hooks on top

Poppy Bilderbeck

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| Last updated 

Bizarre reason houses in Amsterdam have hooks on top

TikTokers have revealed the strange reason why some Amsterdam houses have hooks hanging off them.

Prepare to add this random fact to your memory bank for your next Sunday pub quiz:

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If you've ever found yourself sitting near a duck pond in Amsterdam or wandering around the city in a haze, staring up at the sky only to start philosophising about what the hooks jutting out from the side of the very tall houses could possibly mean, then you've come to the right place.

Even if you've never noticed the hooks - or how some houses lean slightly forward - as you were too caught up in the buzz of the city, TikTok still has a secret to let you in on.

The hooks are most commonly found on the thin houses overlooking the canal. Credit: Architect's Eye/ Alamy Stock Photo
The hooks are most commonly found on the thin houses overlooking the canal. Credit: Architect's Eye/ Alamy Stock Photo

A few TikTokers have clocked on to why there are hooks on some houses in Amsterdam, but Design Secrets by SK - who uses the social media platform to let followers in on 'the design secrets of everyday life' - has taken to the platform to give a very in-depth explanation.

Despite being based in DC, the TikToker has knowledge of buildings all across the globe, including the capital city of the Netherlands.

The TikToker explains the hooks on some canal-side buildings in Amsterdam are 'surprisingly a direct consequence of the city's tax laws'.

The hooks on some houses in Amsterdam are because of the city's tax laws. Credit: Marc Bruxelle/ Alamy Stock Photo
The hooks on some houses in Amsterdam are because of the city's tax laws. Credit: Marc Bruxelle/ Alamy Stock Photo

In the video, the creator notes that 'back in the day' tax was 'based on how much space [houses] took up in front of the canal'.

"The wider the house, the higher the taxes, which is basically what incentivised the construction of these tall and skinny houses so they pay less taxes," he continued.

However, this led to it being 'practically impossible' to get furniture upstairs and 'to the higher floors'.

To solve the issue, hooks were installed on top of houses to lever items up and down via a pulley and rope system.

"That's also the reason why some houses are slightly leaning forward, so when objects are being picked up, they won't scrape the front of the house," the TikToker said.

The post has amassed over a million views, with many followers flocking to the comments to reveal what they'd originally thought the hooks were used for.

One user said: "I thought they lean because of sinking foundations? Not to help move in furniture."

Another weighed in with their own design idea: "I feel like a directional rope to keep it from scratching is more practical than designing them leaning forward."

"They’re made for assassins creed parkour," another joked.

A fourth commented: "They told us they were to pull up drunk people that couldn’t navigate the narrow stairs thus the Flying Dutchman."

A final simply thanked the TikToker for his eye-opening content: "I wish all vids were as informative and educational as yours bro."

Who knew that on TikTok you can truly learn something new - other than dance routines or make-up hacks - every day.

Featured Image Credit: Julio Etchart / Alamy Stock Photo / John Kellerman

Topics: World News, TikTok, Viral, Social Media

Poppy Bilderbeck
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