The second largest city in the Netherlands is Rotterdam. The city is well known for its large ports that are ranked among the top in the world. The city is now a major international commercial centre and it all started when a dam was built back in 1270, on the Rotte River. The city is strategically placed at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea. The location of the city is also where a major rail, road, inland and air waterway distribution system extends all the way through Europe. As a result of this, Rotterdam is also mentioned under the nickname “Gateway to Europe”.
Rotterdam is located in the province of South Holland, just in the western part of Holland. The city is well known for its architecture, cultural life, universities and the maritime heritage along with beautiful riverside setting.
A striking moment in history that made Rotterdam famous among all is the Rotterdam Blitz. The Rotterdam Blitz was the aerial bombing of the city in 1940, killing thousands. The bombing command was put under serious scrutiny and was a highly controversial matter because just before the bombing happened, negotiations took place and the decision to ceasefire was taken.
Rotterdam is known as having the largest port in Europe that was until 2004 the busiest port too until it got surpassed by Shanghai. The city bases its strategic and commercial importance on the location it occupies, being near the mouth of the New Meuse channel that leads directly into the centre of Europe.
Regarding the Rotterdam architecture, the city has several high-rise buildings that are defining of the city’s skyline. Such one building is the Witte Huis that was completed back in 1989 and reaches the high of 15 meters. Several other buildings were built in the early 20th century that adopted the modern style architecture, such as the clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club and the Feyenoord football stadium.
After the bombings took place in World War II, along with the lives lost then, many of the old buildings in the centre were destroyed. While rebuilding these, the centre of Rotterdam became a place where ambitious new architecture found its home.
Another famous architectural structure has been built by the architect Piet Blom back in 1984, namely the cube houses. Overall there are many famous architects that are bases in Rotterdam such as Erick van Egeraat and Neutelings & Riedijk.
In Rotterdam there are also several annual events that are only found in the city, such as the largest Caribbean carnival in Europe named the Zomercarnaval. Other examples of these events are the Bavaria City Race which is a formula 1 race that takes place inside the centre of the city or the World Port Days that is actually held in honour of the Port of Rotterdam and it takes place over the course of three whole days.
Rotterdam is also famous for being the home of the Erasmus University which concentrates its studies on education in management, economics and research. Several multinational firms surround the university that is located in the east of the city.
The city also has a strong cultural appeal and was once named as the European Capital of Culture back in 2001. Rotterdam has a grand orchestra named the Rotterdam Philharmonic and several theatres and movie theatres. There is also a major zoo located at the northwest of the city, named Diergaarde Blijdorp.
The city has several important museums that can be visited such as the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Ethnographic Museum. There is also a historical shipyard and museum known as the Scheepwerf ‘De Delft’. Here you can visit the ship of the line Delft which was reconstructed and opened to the public.
There are various things to do in Rotterdam and many of which are well worth doing. Whatever you might desire to find there you will probably find it if you search a little. So don’t stay on ceremony and start a new stage of your life in Rotterdam. No matter what you have to move to be there, we can move it for you.
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