Rotterdam


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Unlike historic Amsterdam, most of Rotterdam’s buildings were constructed after World War II German bombers destroyed the central core. The city was rebuilt in a very modern style and although the traditional buildings visible through much of the Netherlands are beautiful, Rotterdam’s contemporary and unusual architecture is quite appealing. Rotterdam also is full of statues and sculptures—over 150 are in the city center alone.

We took advantage of another sunny, warm February day to do a walking tour through the city, taking in the many unique buildings and sculptures. Below are trip highlights from February 18th, 2019. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

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102 mph
Doing 102 mph (164 kph) on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. The distance between the two cites is 36 miles (58 km) by air, and we’ll make the journey in about 40 minutes.
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Topping Up
Topping up our train card on arrival at Rotterdam station. The cards can be topped up at these machines throughout the Netherlands, but only with a Dutch debit card.
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Delft Gate Building
The the rising sun lighting up the Delft Gate Building adjoining Rotterdam central station.
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UPS Bicycle
A UPS delivery bicycle in downtown Rotterdam.
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Unilever NV
The dramatic Unilever NV headquarters building is constructed in the shape of a cross within a square.
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Weena 200
The Weena 200 office complex consists of three towers connected by a bridge on the upper floors that terminates in a arch.
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Playing Bears
In addition to modern architecture, Rotterdam is full of statues and sculptures—over 150 are in the city center alone. Playing Bears on the Lijnbaan near the intersection with Stadhuisplein was a gift from the Norwegian Ambassador.
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Memorial to the Fallen
Memorial to the Fallen 1940-1945 commemorates the victims of World War II.
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City Hall
Rotterdam’s City Hall, completed in 1920, was one of the few buildings to survive the World War II bombing.
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Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
The Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk church, built between 1449 and 1525, is the only remaining building from medieval Rotterdam. The church was restored after sustaining heavy damage in the Rotterdam Blitz on May 14, 1940.
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Markthal
Markthal Rotterdam is a food hall wrapped in an inverted U-shaped apartment complex. You can see right through from one end to the other.
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Rotterdam Blaak
Dramatic Rotterdam Blaak railway and metro station, with Markthal visible in the background.
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Cube Houses
The Rotterdam Cube Houses are an urban design to maximize space. Each cube is a conventional house tilted to 45 degrees and resting upon a pylon. Each cube represents a tree, and the whole group, a forest.
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Praise of Folly
Geert van de Camp’s sculpture celebrates Desiderius Erasmus’s work of the same name. The Dutch humanist was born in Rotterdam and Praise of Folly is considered one of the most influential works of Western civilization.
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Jachthaven de Rotterdamsche Admiraliteit
Jachthaven de Rotterdamsche Admiraliteit, at the eastern edge of the city center, is one of a half-dozen marinas in and around the Rotterdam area.
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Haringvliet
Looking west along Haringvliet towards the Rotterdam city centre. Large Dutch barges line both shores.
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Maas River
Looking west down the Maas River with a view to Rotterdam’s two bridges. The red-pyloned Wilemsbrug is closest, with the swan-shaped Erasmusbrug (another nod to Rotterdam born Erasmus) visible in the distance.
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Maasbeeld
The sculpture Maasbeeld, strung beneath an the Wilemsbrug and the footing of an old railway bridge. Artist Auke de Vries created the work using elements related to shipping along the Maas River, such as a ring, box, streamer and a hanging ball.
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De Brug
De Brug, the glass-enclosed headquarters of Unilever Nederland Bestfoods Netherlands, a subsidiary of Unilever N.V.
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Ons Park
Looking northeast across Ons Park to the Wilemsbrug spanning the Maas River.
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Slide
Jennifer couldn’t resist a ride down the Ons Park slide.
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Rotterdam Marina
Rotterdam Marina is a large and modern facility built within the old shipping canals in the Rotterdam’s Noordereiland district.
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Jewish Memorial
The Jewish Memorial at Loods 24 square remembers the thousands of Rotterdam Jewish residents who were deported to concentration camps during World War II. Visible beyond is the 165m-high Maastoren, the tallest building in the Netherlands.
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KPN Telecom
The KPN Telecom headquarters is built on an angle, seemingly supported by the white pole in the foreground.
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Wilhelminaplein
Jennifer standing inside a sculpture in the courtyard behind the Wilhelminaplein Metro station.
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Barge
Watching a barge pass under the Erasmusbrug as we cross over, with the red-pyloned Wilemsbrug visible in the distance.
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De Boeg
The 46m-high De Boeg (“The Bow”) is a memorial to those who died at sea during World War II.
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Bike wagon
Rotterdam isn’t nearly as busy with bicycles as Amsterdam is, but we’re still seeing plenty of bicycles. This Urban Arrow, a modern take on a traditional Netherlands cargo bike, caught our eye. We often see such cargo bikes in Amsterdam, carrying children, pets, groceries and pretty much anything else that will fit. The Urban Arrow includes three-point safety belts for riding children and an optional rain canopy.
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Anchor
Jennifer sitting on a 40,000 lb anchor near the Rotterdam Maritime Museum.
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Low Light
The lower of two leading lights that once were mounted at the Hook of Holland at the sea entrance to Holland. When navigating, boat captains can tell if they are on course when the lower and upper lights line up. The Rotterdam Maritime Museum now uses the light as a small theatre.
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Destroyed City
The Destroyed City sculpture commemorates the May 14, 1940 German bombing of Rotterdam that decimated much of the city’s medieval center. The sculpture represents a man without a heart, symbolizing Rotterdam without its historic heart.
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Lunch
A delicious lunch on the upper deck at Let’s Wok overlooking Markthal. The windows visible in the mural are of apartments in the U-shaped superstructure.
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Spices
Colorful spices for sale at a stall in Markthal.
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Meat
Legs of ham, complete with hoofs, at Markthal.
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Ode to Marten Toonder
This tribute to Rotterdam cartoonist Marten Toonder includes four famous figures from the Toonder comics beneath a large obelisk.
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The Red Apple
Jennifer crossing a pedestrian bridge over the Wijnhaven beneath the cantilevered Red Apple complex.
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Veerhaven
Veerhaven is one of the few Rotterdam districts to survive the World War II bombing, with many historic, listed buildings.
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Peter the Great
Statue of Czar Peter the Great of Russia along the Maas River waterfront, a gift to the city of Rotterdam from the Russian Federation.
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Euromast
The 185m-tall Euromast tower was built in 1960 as part of an international flower and garden exhibition in the adjacent Het Park. An elevator brings visitors to the 100m-high viewing tower in 30 seconds, the fastest elevator in Europe at the time of construction. The small black donut on the white topmost part of the structure is Euroscoop, a rotating panorama elevator that goes to the 185m top of the tower.
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Erasmusbrug
The swan-shaped Erasmusbrug, an icon of Rotterdam, viewed from the Euromast 100m observation deck. The glass-enclosed De Brug office building is visible beyond.
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View from Euromast
The panoramic view west to Rotterdam from Euromast. Directly to the west is Het Park, the largest park in Rotterdam. At the left in the distance is the city center with Erasmusbrug at center and the Noordereiland district on the right.
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Euroscoop
Euroscoop is rotating elevator that ascends to 185m from the 100m-high viewing Euromast platform. The video looks like we’re walking around the ring, but we’re sitting in the same place as the elevator ascends and rotates.
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Bistro
Enjoying a glass of wine at the Euromast Brasserie with a view northwest across the Coolhaven canal in Rotterdam’s Delfshaven district.
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Het Heerenhuys
Het Heerenhuys in Het Park dates from 1750 and has been the home of a number of prominent Rotterdam families. The city purchased the building in 1875 as part of the creation of Het Park.
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Parqiet
Patrons enjoying the warm sunny weather on the terrace at Parqiet in Het Park.
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Barbecue Zone
Barbecuing at Het Park must get popular in the summer. Barbecues much be 5m from the water, 2m from the trees and 20cm above the ground as they pack them in row by row.
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Natural History Museum
Jennifer with larger-than-life bunny sculptures outside the Rotterdam Natural History Museum.
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Screwarch
The Screwarch sculpture behind Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Artist Claes Oldenburg was inspired by the many arch bridges in the Netherlands. The dozens of reflective globes in the surrounding lawn were glinting and flashing in the afternoon sun.
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Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, when completed, will be encased in reflective glass with trees planted on top. The building will hold the vast Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection and be the first public art depot in the world. Only 8% currently can be displayed in the museum, and the new storage depot will allow the public to view the entire collection while providing a safer place for storage, conservation and restoration.
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Hew Nieuwe Instituit
The pond and garden on the west side of the Hew Nieuwe Instituit, a center devoted to architecture, design, fashion and digital culture.
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Cascade
Cascade by Joep van Lieshout, one of Rotterdam’s most famous artists. The sculpture is made of polyester and features eighteen stacked oil barrels and some twenty human-like figures in various poses.
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Rotterdam Blaak
The corner of a brick building, mounted on wooden planks and supported by wood pilings, is suspended from the ceiling above a platform at Rotterdam Blaak station. Possibly this is sculpture, or perhaps a remnant of the previous station.
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Rail Force One
A Rail Force One engine at Rotterdam station. The company, founded in 2016, moves cargo throughout the Netherlands and Germany.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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4 comments on “Rotterdam
  1. Hello James, I enjoyed your tour of Rotterdam, our favourite city in the Netherlands. It calls itself the city of architecture. It seems a couple of pictures did not upload correctly to the site.

  2. John Schieffelin says:

    Thank you as always for your informative and interesting photos and comments about Rotterdam. You are terrific tourists and I am delighted to go along on the trip via your blog.

    Still, as someone who has had quite enough cold weather, I may have chosen Barcelona or Lisbon for a winter-over port. Amsterdam looks so wintry.

    • I hear you on warmer weather being nice but there are advantages. We spent last summer in Norway and will spend this summer in Finland and Sweden. Heading much further south than Amsterdam wastes a lot of time in that, the further south we go for winter, the further north we’ll need to go the following year to return. We chose Amsterdam to be south of where ice around the boats was a likely outcome but far enough north that we don’t waste a week and thousands of gallons of fuel working our way back north again. Having been here for 4 months, we’ve found it an amazing place to call home. I can fly back to Seattle with a super easy non-stop flight. We are living right downtown in a world class city. The train station is a 10 min walk and the trains have quick access to all of Europe at high speed and reasonable cost.

      We have found Amsterdam to be a pretty fun place to call home but, you are right, it’s not the south of France from a weather perspective. We’ll eventually get there :-).

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