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Population:616 000 (metro 1211 000, 7 millions in Randstad)
Tallest building: Nieuw Ministerie (146m, 2 bldgs)
Founded year (city rights): 1350
I visited Rotterdam for one day as part of my Amsterdam trip. It takes only about one hour by train from Amsterdam. It is a very cool city to visit if you like modern architecture, it is almost like a “European Dubai”. It was very hot the day I visited Rotterdam, and there were no clouds in the sky. Some streets can feel a bit stiff and there are not many trees, they are also narrow so you don’t get much protection from the sun, but there are nice pubs in the harbor and you can find more picturesque districts such as Delfshaven. Rotterdam also have a very nice park, just next to the Euromast TV tower that offers nice views.
Unfortunately it is also one of the most criminal city in Holland, and after dark you can recognize there are many gangs in the city but daytime it feels safe.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands. It also has the world’s second largest and busiest harbour and Europe’s largest, Europoort (beaten by Shanghai in 2004). The city was bombed heavily by Luftwaffe during WWII, so most old buildings were destroyed. But instead of rebuilding the city center as it was, very modern buildings with innovative architecture have been constructed, and the last 4 decades many skyscrapers have arised, especially the last 5 years. So the city feels more like an American city then a European, but there are many streets with older buildings in the outskirts. It has a very impressive skyline, containing most of Netherland’s tallest buildings, spread out over the center and the harbour. Rotterdam’s harbour is so important because it is situated in the large channel Nieuwe Maas where several important rivers meet. Rotterdam is also a multicultural city, more then 50% has roots in other countries. The city has, just like Amsterdam, many museums and a vibrant nightlife.
A plane pproaching Rotterdam, seen from the train.
Europoint from 1978 is a complex with 3 towers, among the first modern highrises of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam Central station. Futuristic main railway station.
Millennium Tower/Manhattan hotel. Built year 2000, 149m to the spire.
Gebouw Delftse Poort from 1992. For long Rotterdam’s tallest, now 4th. But it is still the tallest in downtown. It is 151m to the roof.
Weenatoren (105m), built in 1990.
Hofplein with its fountain and modern skyscrapers.
The City Hall. This impressive building survived the bombings.
Along Coolsingel with City Hall and WTC.
The Old Post Office. There are plans to build a skyscraper on top of it!
A bit sad since it is one of the few old jugend buildings in the city.
De Bijenkorf department store.
World Trade Center. This 25-storey curved green glass scraper was completed in 1986.
Scheepvaartkwartier (The Maritime Quarter), Rotterdam’s richest area.
Wilhelminapier with the brand new skyscrapers.
Erasmus Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge above Nieuwe Maas with a striking modern design. It was designed by Ben van Berkel and was completed in 1996. The pylon is 139m high and 802m long. It has been featured in several movies and Tour de France.
After passing the Erasmus Bridge, I reached Kop van Zuid, a new neighbourhood built on old port areas. It includes Wilhelmina Pier, a very narrow peninsula.
Toren op Zuid from year 2000 has a cool leaning design and features lighting schemes on the exterior that forms different patterns.
Maastoren to the left (165m to the roof) is currently Rotterdam’s tallest. It was built in 2010 and has 45 floors.
New Orleans. Completed in 2010, 2nd tallest (158m) in the Netherland’s, and the tallest residential building in the country. And warehouse looking residential buildings.
De Rotterdam, a mixed use skyscraper under construction May 2012. Will be completed in 2013 (149m tall).
Rendering of how Kop van Zuid will look in the future.
Netherlands Photo Museum.
Hotel New York, the former ferry terminal for the Holland-America line. It was built in 1903 and later transformed into a hotel.
The singer Dutch Anouk wrote her album “Hotel New York” here.
Vilhelminapier on the eastern edge of Kop van Zuid:
World Port Center, Hotel New York and Montevideo.
Hotel New York was the former ferry terminal for the Holland-America line.
Reminders of America.
Montevideo, Netherlands’s tallest building upon completion in 2005 (now 3rd). 152m tall to the top of the “M” sign. Was also Netherland’s tallest residential building until 2010.
I made illustrations for the book that was printed for the release of this tower.
Rotterdam and Erasmus Bridge was part of Tour de France in 2010.
Maastoren (165m to the roof) is currently Rotterdam’s tallest. It was built in 2010 and has 45 floors.
Wilhelminapier metro station.
A tram in front of city center’s waterfront skyline.
I both agree and not. I think many of the new skyscrapers and other buildings have a more playful design then American ones. But still I think, especially downtown Rotterdam that has a bit "older" buildings (90s and earlier) it could be Detroit or some other random american city when seeing it from the waterfront. But of course, the biking lanes are very non american, and so are the pedestrian streets.
Noordereiland (Northern Island). An island in front of the city center that has some older buildings.
De Hef bridge.
Koninginnebrug opens for passing boats!
Kop van Zuid skyline with Erasmus Bridge.
Noordereiland (Northern Island), a small island in Nieuwe Maas, between North and South Rotterdam, that has some older residential buildings. The square is called Burgermeester Hoffmanplein, I had a melted icecream there.
Erasmus Bridge seen from Noordereiland.
Downtown skyline seen from Noordereiland.
Willemsbrug, a red bridge that goes from Northern Island to downtown/North Rotterdam. It was completed in 1981, and is a cable-stayed bridge with a total span of about 318 meters.
South skyline seen from Willemsbrug.
North skyline seen from Willemsbrug.
West and Old Harbour (East downtown) skyline seen from Willemsbrug (scroll right).
City center skyline. Looks like some American city in this angle.
Het Witte Huis, Europe’s first “skyscraper”.
Willemswerf. 88m, built 1988.
The Red Apple. A postmodern residential skyscraper from 2009. 127m, 40 floors.
Grote Kerk (Great Church). Also called Sint-Laurenskerk.
The Willemswerf (white mid-rise, 80s, with a sloped ledge running across its front) was featured in a Jackie Chan flick (Who Am I?, I believe). As part of an escape, Jackie slides down the ledge of this building.
The library was built in 1983 and drawn by Van den Broek en Bakema- It has a somewhat controversioal architecture that reminds a bit of Centre Pompidou i Paris.
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk. The church was built between 1449 and 1525 and survived the WWII bombings. But it was heavily damaged and had to be rebuilt. The restoration was completed in 1968.
The statue of Erasmus of Rotterdam (Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus) outside Grote Kerk. This Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian is the most famous man from Rotterdam.
Rotterdam has modern canals.
A glass residential building.
Hoogstraat, a pedestrian street. At about 5 pm all stores had to close because of a power failure!
Great city, was there yesterday delivering some goods. The port and maritime history has such a presence throughout it.
Your pics of it are gorgeous!
Beside Shanghai, Singapore is also the busier port lately and probably a couple of other Chinese cities have caught up. However, in case of Shanghai, some of its ports are further away from the actual city than Antwerp (Europe's 2nd busiest port) and Amsterdam (Europe's 4th biggest port) are from Rotterdam.
Also, 1.2 million is actually the urban area, but Rotterdam has grown together with The Hague and other cities. In terms of metro area it really can't be seen seperate from the rest of the Randstad (7.5m) and certainly not seperate from The Hague (and other cities). Together they would be 3.5 million. If I had to give a number for just the Rotterdam part and its immediate suburbs (no other core cities) it would still be over 2 million.
“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transport”
– Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia
i have always thought that rotterdam's high-rises were of exceptional quality. whenever the modern architecture appreciation movement enters full swing, rotterdam will be regarded as one of the premier cities for european post-war modern design, imo.
Scheepvaartkwartier (The Maritime Quarter) is one of the richest quarters in the country and the most fashionable districts of Rotterdam. Here you can find monuments, luxury apartments, historic warehouses, museums, a historic harbour and good restaurants. It is situated in the west end of the city center, next to Euromast. There is a nice park that is simply called The Park in the area.
Norsk Sjomannskirke, a Norwegian Sailors Church on the entrance to the park.
Even the text was in Norwegian!
Euromast seen from The Park.
Parklaan, a fashionable lane in the west part of downtown, next to the park.
Many fashionable townhouses in American/British style are situated on Parklaan.