Rotterdam

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Rotterdam
City and Municipality
Rotterdam skyline by night with the Erasmus Bridge (left) across the Nieuwe Maas in 2012
Rotterdam skyline by night with the Erasmus Bridge (left) across the Nieuwe Maas in 2012
Flag of Rotterdam
Flag
Coat of arms of Rotterdam
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Rotown, Roffa, Rotjeknor
Motto: Sterker door strijd (Stronger by struggle)
Highlighted position of Rotterdam in a municipal map of South Holland
Location in South Holland
Coordinates: 51°55′N 4°30′E / 51.917°N 4.500°E / 51.917; 4.500Coordinates: 51°55′N 4°30′E / 51.917°N 4.500°E / 51.917; 4.500
Country Netherlands
Province South Holland
Boroughs
Government[1]
 • Body Municipal council
 • Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA)
 • Aldermen
Area[2][3]
 • Municipality 325.79 km2 (125.79 sq mi)
 • Land 208.80 km2 (80.62 sq mi)
 • Water 116.99 km2 (45.17 sq mi)
 • Randstad 3,043 km2 (1,175 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 0 m (0 ft)
Population (Municipality, May 2014; Urban and Metro, May 2014; Randstad, 2011)[3][5][6]
 • Municipality 619,879
 • Density 2,969/km2 (7,690/sq mi)
 • Urban 1,015,215
 • Metro 1,181,284
 • Randstad 6,979,500
Demonym Rotterdammer
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postcode 3000–3099
Area code 010
Website www.rotterdam.nl

Rotterdam (/ˈrɒtərdæm/; Dutch: [ˌrɔtərˈdɑm] ( )) is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe is the reason that Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe".

Located in the province of South Holland, Rotterdam is in the west of Netherlands and the south of the Randstad. The population of the city was 619,879 in 2014. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is approximately 1.3 million. The combined urban area of Rotterdam and The Hague with a population of approximately 2.9 million is the 206th largest urban area in the world and the most populous in the Netherlands. Rotterdam is known for its university (Erasmus), cutting-edge architecture, lively cultural life, striking riverside setting and maritime heritage. It is also known for the Rotterdam Blitz.

The largest port in Europe and one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, when it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), a channel in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region.

History[edit]

Map of Rotterdam by Willem and Joan Blaeu (1652)

The settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, 'muddy' and a, 'water', thus 'muddy water') dates from at least 900 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ('Schieland’s High Sea Dike') along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ('High Street').

On 7 July 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2000 inhabitants. Around 1350 a shipping canal, the Rotterdamse Schie was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local transshipment centre between Holland, England and Germany, and to urbanize.

The Delftsevaart in c. 1890–1905

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.

The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper,[7] inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Chateau-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m (147.64 ft).

Rotterdam centre after the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam. The ruined St. Lawrence' Church has been restored
Skyscrapers in the Kop van Zuid neighbourhood

During World War I the city was the world's largest spy centre because of Dutch neutrality and its location in between England, Germany and occupied Belgium.[8]

During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on May 15, 1940, following Hitler's bombing Rotterdam on May 14 and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe. 80,000 Civilians were made homeless and 900 were killed; a relatively low number because many had fled the city because of the warfare and bombing going on in Rotterdam since the start of the invasion three days earlier. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later attempted to capture the event with his statue De Verwoeste Stad ('The Destroyed City'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.

Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city centre with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business centre.

Geography[edit]

Topographic map image of Rotterdam (city), as of March 2014

'Rotterdam' is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ('Willems railway tunnel'); the Willemsbrug ('Willems Bridge'); the Koninginnebrug ('Queen's Bridge'); and the Van Brienenoordbrug ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge De Hef ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.

The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the center to parts of southern Rotterdam known as De Kop van Zuid ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbour area.

Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 metres (20 ft) below sea level, or rather below Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (6.76 metres (22.2 ft) below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

Satellite image of Rotterdam and its port

The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam’s second subway line interfered with the Rotte’s course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.

The 24 cities of the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area

Between the summers of 2003 and 2008 an artificial beach was created at the Boompjeskade along the Nieuwe Maas, between the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge. Swimming was not possible, digging pits was limited to the height of the layer of sand, about 50 cm (20 in). Alternatively people go the beach of Hoek van Holland (which is a Rotterdam district) or one of the beaches in Zeeland: Renesse or the Zuid Hollandse Eilanden: Ouddorp, Oostvoorne.

Rotterdam forms the centre of the Rijnmond conurbation, bordering the conurbation surrounding The Hague to the north-west. The two conurbations are close enough to be a single conurbation. They share the Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a light rail system called RandstadRail. Consideration is being given to creating an official Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag), which would have a combined population approaching 2.5 million.

On its turn, the Rijnmond conurbation is part of the southern wing (the Zuidvleugel) of the Randstad, which is one of the most important economic and densely populated areas in the north-west of Europe. Having a population of 7.1 million, the Randstad is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Europe (after Moscow, London, the Ruhr Area, Istanbul, and Paris). The Zuidvleugel, situated in the province of South Holland, has a population of around 3 million.

Climate[edit]

Rotterdam experiences a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the Netherlands. With its location near the coast its climate is slightly milder than locations further inland.

Climate data for Rotterdam The Hague Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.1
(57.4)
16.7
(62.1)
21.2
(70.2)
26.7
(80.1)
30.5
(86.9)
32.8
(91)
33.1
(91.6)
34.9
(94.8)
29.0
(84.2)
24.8
(76.6)
18.3
(64.9)
15.1
(59.2)
34.9
(94.8)
Average high °C (°F) 6.0
(42.8)
6.6
(43.9)
9.9
(49.8)
13.5
(56.3)
17.5
(63.5)
19.9
(67.8)
22.2
(72)
22.1
(71.8)
18.9
(66)
14.7
(58.5)
9.9
(49.8)
6.6
(43.9)
14.0
(57.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.6
(38.5)
3.7
(38.7)
6.4
(43.5)
9.1
(48.4)
12.9
(55.2)
15.5
(59.9)
17.8
(64)
17.6
(63.7)
14.8
(58.6)
11.2
(52.2)
7.3
(45.1)
4.2
(39.6)
10.4
(50.7)
Average low °C (°F) 0.8
(33.4)
0.5
(32.9)
2.6
(36.7)
4.3
(39.7)
7.8
(46)
10.6
(51.1)
13.1
(55.6)
12.8
(55)
10.6
(51.1)
7.5
(45.5)
4.2
(39.6)
1.4
(34.5)
6.4
(43.5)
Record low °C (°F) −17.1
(1.2)
−13.8
(7.2)
−11.4
(11.5)
−6.0
(21.2)
−1.4
(29.5)
0.5
(32.9)
3.6
(38.5)
4.6
(40.3)
0.4
(32.7)
−5.1
(22.8)
−7.5
(18.5)
−13.3
(8.1)
−17.1
(1.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.1
(2.72)
57.9
(2.28)
64.9
(2.555)
42.6
(1.677)
58.3
(2.295)
65.2
(2.567)
74.0
(2.913)
81.0
(3.189)
87.1
(3.429)
90.1
(3.547)
87.1
(3.429)
78.3
(3.083)
855.6
(33.685)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12 10 12 9 9 10 10 10 12 12 13 13 132
Avg. snowy days 6 5 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 23
 % humidity 88 85 83 78 77 79 79 80 84 86 89 89 83.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62.5 83.8 124.0 174.9 213.9 203.6 213.1 196.6 137.6 106.9 60.4 46.7 1,623.8
Source #1: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)[9]
Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1971–2000 extremes)[10]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1796 53,200 —    
1830 72,300 +35.9%
1849 90,100 +24.6%
1879 148,100 +64.4%
1899 318,500 +115.1%
1925 547,900 +72.0%
1965 731,000 +33.4%
1984 555,000 −24.1%
2005 596,407 +7.5%
2006 588,576 −1.3%
2007 584,046 −0.8%
2010 603,425 +3.3%
2011 612,502 +1.5%
2012 617,347 +0.8%

Overall the demographics differ per city area. According to a recent area analysis, the city centre has a singles population of 70%, between the ages of 20 and 40, considerably more than other city areas. Also the city centre has a much larger population of people with higher education and higher income. Nonetheless, 80% of the homes are rented, not owned. City centre also has a higher percentage (51% vs 45%) of foreign-born citizens (Dutch: allochtonen). The majority (70%) of shops are also run by foreign-born citizens.[11]

Composition[edit]

On 1 January 2007 (source: Statistics Netherlands), the municipality covered an area of 319 km2 (206.44 km2 of which is land) with a population of 603,425. It is part of a larger metropolitan area with a total population (including Dordrecht and surrounding cities) of approximately 1.6 million. In 1965, the municipal population of Rotterdam reached its peak of 731,000, but by 1984 it had decreased to 555,000 as a result of suburbanization.

Rotterdam consists of 14 submunicipalities: Centrum ('Center'), Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants), and Rozenburg. One other area, Pernis, does have an official submunicipality status since 3 March 2010.

The current size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities,[12] some of which now are a submunicipality:

Ethnic make-up[edit]

Figures are from 2011:

In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. They form a large part of Rotterdam's multi ethnic and multicultural diversity. 47.7% of the population are of non Dutch origins or have at least one parent born outside the country. There are 80,000 Muslims, constituting 13% of the population.[13] The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim. The city is home to the largest Dutch Antillean community. The city also has its own China Town at the (West-) Kruiskade, close to the central railway station.

Economy[edit]

Gebouw Delftse Poort, one of the tallest office buildings in the Netherlands

Rotterdam has always been one of the main centers of the shipping industry in the Netherlands. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the world's first multinational, established in 1602, to the merchant shipping leader Royal Nedlloyd established in 1970, with its corporate headquarters located in the landmark building the 'Willemswerf' in 1988. In 1997 Nedlloyd merged with the British shipping industry leader P&O forming the third largest merchant shipping company in the world. The Anglo-Dutch P&O Nedlloyd was bought by the Danish giant corporation 'AP Moller Maersk' in 2005 and its Dutch operations are still headquartered in the 'Willemswerf'. Rotterdam is also home to the Dutch half of the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever, and Mittal Steel Company N.V., subsidiary of Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel company.

The Erasmus University has a strong focus on research and education in management and economics. The University is located on the east side of the city and is surrounded by numerous multinational firms. On Brainpark I, Brainpark II, Brainpark III and Het Rivium are located offices of major multinationals. In the center of the city are the above-mentioned Unilever offices, but also Robeco, Fortis (including Mees Pierson and Stad Rotterdam Verzekeringen), ABN AMRO, ING (Nationale Nederlanden), the Rotterdam WTC, and the before mentioned Maersk Line who incorporates the Dutch merchant marine legacy.

The City of Rotterdam makes use of the services of semi-government companies Roteb (to take care of sanitation, waste management and assorted services) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority (to maintain the Port of Rotterdam). Both these companies were once municipal bodies, now they are autonomous entities, owned by the City.

Being the largest port and one of the largest cities of the country, Rotterdam attracts many seeking jobs, especially in the cheap labour segment. The city's unemployment rate is 8.5%, twice the national average.[14]

Together with Eindhoven (Brainport) and Amsterdam (Airport), Rotterdam (Seaport) forms the foundation of the Dutch economy.[15]

Ports[edit]

Main article: Port of Rotterdam
The Waalhaven by night
Unmanned vehicles handle containers at Europe Container Terminals (ECT), the largest container terminal operator in Europe.

Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2004 Shanghai took over as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled.[16]

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed.

In 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg ('New Waterway') opened, a ship canal constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine channels silted up. The canal proper measures approximately 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) from the western tips of its protruding dams to the Maeslantkering ('Maeslant Barrier'). Many maps, however, include the Scheur as part of the Nieuwe Waterweg, leading to a length of approximately 19.5 kilometres (12.1 mi).

In the first half of the twentieth century, the port's center of gravity shifted westward towards the North Sea. Covering 105 square kilometres (41 sq mi), the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 mi). It consists of the city center's historic harbor area, including Delfshaven; the Lloydkwartier; the Maashaven/Rijnhaven/Feijenoord complex; the harbors around Nieuw-Mathenesse; Waalhaven; Vondelingenplaat; Eemhaven; Botlek; Europoort, situated along the Calandkanaal, Nieuwe Waterweg and Scheur (the latter two being continuations of the Nieuwe Maas); and the reclaimed Maasvlakte area, which projects into the North Sea.

The construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State (the Dutch Council of State, which advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance) in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues. On 10 October 2006, however, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013.

Shopping[edit]

Well-known streets in Rotterdam are the shopping center the Lijnbaan (the first set of pedestrian streets of the country, opened in 1953), the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel with the city hall, and the Weena, which runs from the Central Station to the Hofplein (square). A modern shopping venue is the Beurstraverse ("Stock Exchange Traverse"), better known by its informal name 'Koopgoot' ('Buying/Shopping Gutter', after its subterranean position), which crosses the Coolsingel below street level).

The main shopping venue in the south of Rotterdam is Zuidplein, which lies close to Ahoy' Rotterdam, an accommodation center for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping center, called Alexandrium (sometimes still called by its former name Oosterhof), lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture center.

Education[edit]

Bronze statue of Erasmus created by Hendrick de Keyser in 1622

Rotterdam has one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after one of the city's famous former inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus. The Woudestein campus houses (among others) Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In Financial Times' 2005 rankings it placed 29th globally and 7th in Europe. In the 2009 rankings of Masters of Management, the school reached first place with the CEMS Master in Management and a tenth place with its RSM Master in Management.[17] The university is also home to Europe's largest student association, STAR Study Association Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the world's largest student association, AIESEC, has its international office in the city.

The Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam's main art school, which is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands and the number 1 in Advertising and Copywriting. Part of the Willem de Kooning Academy is the Piet Zwart Institute for postgraduate studies and research in Fine Art, Media Design and Retail Design. The Piet Zwart Institute boasts a selective roster of emerging international artists.

The Hoboken campus of EUR houses the Dijkzigt (general) hospital, the Sophia Hospital (for children) and the Medical Department of the University. These are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center, which is ranked third worldwide for medical research,[citation needed] behind the Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The Erasmus Medical Center ranks as the top European institution in clinical medicine[18] according to the Times Higher Education rankings. As a combined medical treatment and research center it is particularly noted for its patient cohort studies in which large numbers of patients are followed for long periods of time.[citation needed]

There are also three Hogescholen (Universities of applied sciences) in Rotterdam. These schools award their students a professional Bachelor's degree and postgraduate or Master's degree. The three Hogescholen are Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool INHOLLAND and Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans (uni for music and dance) which is also known as CodArts.

As there are many international and American schools scattered across Europe such as ASH (American International School of the Hague) Rotterdam also has its own international/American school by the name AISR (American International School of Rotterdam). At AISR children receive a multicultural education in a culturally diverse community and it offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program.

Unique to the city is the Shipping & Transport College which offers masters, bachelors and vocational diplomas on all levels.

Culture[edit]

Rotterdam waterfront, with spotlights shining into the air to commemorate the Rotterdam Blitz

Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, with its well-regarded young music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin; a large congress and concert building called De Doelen; several theaters (including the new Luxor) and movie theatres; and the Ahoy Rotterdam complex in the south of the city, which is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments, and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium. The city is home to the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute.

Rotterdam is currently going through a sort of renaissance, with some urban architecture projects, a nightlife, and many summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired "Summer Carnival", the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Port days. In the years 2005-2011 the city struggled with venues for popmusic. Many of the venues suffered severe financial problems. This resulted in the disappearance of the major music venues Nighttown and WATT and smaller stages such as Waterfront, Exit, and Heidegger. Currently the city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown, Poortgebouw. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related cutting edge subcultural music. There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.

The self-image of the city is that of a no-nonsense workers' city. In that sense, there is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, distributed in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Another saying that reflects both the rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is "Amsterdam has it, Rotterdam doesn't need it".

Rotterdam has had a rich hiphop music scene since the early 1980s. It is also the home of Gabber, a type of hardcore electronic music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Groups like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam.

The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation.[19] One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.

Museums[edit]

Rotterdam has many museums. Well known museums are the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the Volkenkundig Museum (ethnographic museum), the Kunsthal (a building designed by Rem Koolhaas), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art,[20] and the Maritime Museum.[21] The Historisch Museum [1](Historical museum) has two buildings: the Dubbelde Palmboom and the Schielandshuis. Other museums include the tax museum and the nature historical museum. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft' the reconstruction of ship of the line Delft can be visited.[22]

Architecture and skyline[edit]

The former headquarters of the Holland America Line next to modern residential architecture in 2010
The Cube Houses in 2011
The Euromast in 2005

In 1898, the 45 meter high-rise office building the White House (in Dutch Witte Huis) was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe. In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium De Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days. During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying many of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.

Rotterdam is also famous for its Kubuswoningen or cube houses built by architect Piet Blom in 1984. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few.

Rotterdam houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.

  • The Erasmusbrug (1996) is a 790-meter (2,600 ft) cable stayed bridge linking the north and south of Rotterdam. It is held up by a 138 metres (453 ft) tall pylon with a characteristic bend, earning the bridge its nickname 'De Zwaan' ('the Swan').
  • Rotterdam has the tallest residential building in the Netherlands: the New Orleans Tower (158.35 metres (519.5 ft)).
  • Rotterdam is also home to the tallest office building 'Maastoren' (164.75 m or 540.5 ft) which houses Deloitte. This office tower surpassed the 'Delftse Poort' (160 m or 520 ft) which houses Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, part of ING Group as tallest office tower in 2009.[23][24][25]
  • The city also houses the 186 metres (610 ft) tall Euromast, which has long been a major tourist attraction. It was built in 1960, initially reaching a height of 101 metres (331 ft); in 1970, the Euromast was extended by 85 metres (279 ft) to its current height.

Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.

Rotterdam is standing in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and Moscow. Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment.

Two architectural landmarks are located in the Lloydkwartier: the STC college building and the Schiecentrale 4b.

Sports[edit]

Rotterdam calls itself Sportstad (City of Sports). The city annually organises several world renowned sporting events. Some examples are the Rotterdam Marathon, the World Port Tournament, and the Rotterdam World Tennis Tournament. Rotterdam also organises one race of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship and the car racing event Monaco aan de Maas (Monaco at the Meuse).

The city is also the home of many sports clubs and some historic and iconic athletes.

Football[edit]

Robin van Persie, who now plays for Manchester United, began his career with Feyenoord
De Kuip is the home stadium of Feyenoord

Rotterdam is the home of three professional football clubs; two first tier clubs Feyenoord and Excelsior, and one second tier club Sparta.

Feyenoord, founded in 1908 and the dominant of the three professional clubs, has won fourteen national titles since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands. It won the European Cup (current Champions league) as the first Dutch club in 1970, and won the World Cup for club teams in the same year. In 1974, they were the first Dutch club to win the UEFA Cup and in 2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup again. In 2008, the year of their 100-year-anniversary, Feyenoord won the KNVB-cup.

Seating 51,480, its 1931 stadium, called Stadion Feyenoord but popularly known as De Kuip ('the Tub'), is the second largest in the country, after the Amsterdam ArenA. De Kuip, located in the southeast of the city, has hosted many international football games, including the final of Euro 2000 and has been awarded a FIFA 5 star ranking. There are concrete plans to build a new stadium with a capacity of at least 80,000 seats.

Sparta, founded in 1888 and situated in the northwest of Rotterdam, won the national title six times; Excelsior (founded 1902), in the northeast, has never won any.

Rotterdam also has three fourth tier clubs, SC Feijenoord (Feyenoord Amateurs), PVV DOTO and TOGR. Rotterdam is and has been the home to many great football players and coaches, among whom:

Marathon[edit]

Runners during the marathon in Rotterdam

Rotterdam has its own annual international marathon, which offers one of the fastest courses in the world. From 1985 until 1998, the world record was set in Rotterdam, first by Carlos Lopes and later in 1988 by Belayneh Densamo.

In 1998, the world record for women was set by Tegla Loroupe, in a time of 2:20.47. Loroupe won the Rotterdam Marathon three consecutive times, from 1997 to 1999.

The current track record for men is held by Duncan Kibet, who ran a time of 2:04.27 in 2009. The female record was set in 2012, when Tiki Gelana finished the race in 2:18.58. Gelana went on to become the 2012 Olympic champion in London, a few months later.

The marathon starts and ends on the Coolsingel in the heart of Rotterdam. It attracts a total of 900.000 visitors.

Tennis[edit]

Since 1972, Rotterdam hosts the indoor hard court ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, part of the ATP Tour. The event was first organised in 1972, when it was won by Arthur Ashe. Ashe went on to win the tournament two more times, making him the singles title record holder.

Former Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek became the tournament director after his retirement in 2000. The latest edition of the tournament attracted a total of 116.354 visitors.[26]

Many great tennis players participated in the tournament, among whom:

Tour De France 2010[edit]

In November 2008 Rotterdam was chosen as the host of the Grand Départ of the 2010 Tour de France. Rotterdam won the selection over the Dutch city of Utrecht. Germany's Düsseldorf had previously also expressed interest in hosting. The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), organizer of the Tour de France, said in a statement on its web site that it chose Rotterdam because, in addition to it being another big city, like London, to showcase the use of bikes for urban transportation, it provided a location well positioned considering the rest of the route envisioned for the 2010 event.

The start in Rotterdam was the fifth in the Netherlands. The prologue was a 7 km (4.35 mi) individual time trial crossing the centre of the city. The first regular stage left the Erasmusbrug and went south, towards Brussels.

Rowing[edit]

Members of the student rowing club Skadi were part of the 'Holland Acht', winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996.[citation needed]

Field Hockey[edit]

In field hockey, Rotterdam has the largest hockey club in the Netherlands, HC Rotterdam, with its own stadium in the north of the city and nearly 2,400 members. The first men's and women's teams both play on the highest level in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

Baseball[edit]

Rotterdam is home to the most successful European baseball team, Neptunus Rotterdam, winning the most European Cups.

Boxing[edit]

Rotterdam has a long boxing tradition starting with Bep van Klaveren (1907–1992), aka 'The Dutch Windmill', Gold medal winner of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, followed by professional boxers like Regilio Tuur and Don Diego Poeder.

Swimming[edit]

Rotterdam's swimming tradition started with Marie Braun aka Zus (sister) Braun, who was coached to a Gold medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics by her mother Ma Braun, and 3 European titles 3 years later in Paris. In her career as 14 time national champ, she broke 6 world records. Ma Braun later also coached the Rotterdam born, three-times Olympic champion Rie Mastenbroek during the Berlin Olympics in 1936. In later years Inge de Bruijn became a Rotterdam sport icon as triple Olympic Gold medal winner in 2000 and triple European Gold medal winner in 2001.

Motor cycle racing[edit]

Motor cycle speedway was staged in the Feyenoord Stadium after the second world war. The team which raced in a Dutch league was known as the Feyenoord Tigers. The team included Dutch riders and some English and Australian riders.

Sportsmen of the year election[edit]

Since 1986, the city has selected its best sportsman, woman and team at the Rotterdam Sports Awards Election, held in December.

Other famous Rotterdam athletes[edit]

  • Mia Audina, a retired Indonesia born badminton player, living in Rotterdam.
  • Francisco Elson, a Rotterdam born basketball player who played in the NBA, won the NBA finals in 2007 with the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Nelli Cooman, a Surinam born retired athlete who held the 60 meter dash world record, and was the world and European champion in that event.
  • Robert Doornbos, a Rotterdam born race car driver, who competed in the Formula One.
  • Robert Eenhoorn, a Rotterdam born retired MLB short stop, who competed for the New York Yankees, the Anaheim Angels and the New York Mets.
  • Guillaume Elmont, a Rotterdam born judoka, who became world champion in 2005 in the 73 to 81 kg (161 to 179 lb) division.
  • Dex Elmont, a Rotterdam born judoka, who finished second in the European championships in 2009 in the 65 to 73 kg (143 to 161 lb) division.
  • Francis Hoenselaar, a Rotterdam born female darts player, generally recognised as the best Dutch female darts player ever.
  • Robert Lathouwers, an athlete born in a Rotterdam suburb, specialised in the 800 meters. Lathouwers gained international notoriety when he got disqualified after shoving Irish athlete David McCarthy in the 2010 European Championships.
  • Fatima Moreira de Melo, a Rotterdam born, three-times olympic champion in field hockey. Moreira de Melo currently is a professional poker player.
  • Piet Roozenburg, a Rotterdam born draughts player, who was the world champion from 1948 to 1956 and the 8-time Dutch champion.
  • Betty Stöve, a Rotterdam born retired female tennis double specialist and 10-time Grand Slam winner.
  • Ingmar Vos, a Rotterdam born decathlete, with a personal best of 8224 points.
  • Ignisious Gaisah, a Ghanaian born long jumper with a personal best of 8.43 metres, residing in Rotterdam since 2001. Gaisah is a multiple medal winner in several international events, both as a citizen of Ghana and the Netherlands.

Yearly events[edit]

Rotterdam hosts several annual events unique to the city. It hosts the Zomercarnaval (Summercarnaval), the second largest Caribbean carnival in Europe, originally called the Antillean carnival. Other events include: North Sea Jazz Festival, the largest Jazz festival in Europe, Bavaria City Race, a Formula 1 race inside the city center and a 3 day long maritime extravaganza called the World Port Days celebrating the Port of Rotterdam.

Transport[edit]

Rotterdam is well connected by international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway network.

Motorways
There are several motorways which run to/from Rotterdam. The following four are part of its 'Ring' (ring road):

The following two other motorways also serve Rotterdam:

Airport
Much smaller than the international hub Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly known as Zestienhoven) is the third largest airport in the country, behind Schiphol Airport and Eindhoven Airport. Located north of the city, it has shown a very strong growth over the past five years, mostly caused by the growth of the low-cost carrier market. For business travelers Rotterdam The Hague Airport offers advantages due to rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain.

Train

Rotterdam's new Central Station reopened in March 2014, designed to handle up to 320,000 passengers daily.

Rotterdam is well connected to the Dutch railway network, and has several international connections:

Railway stations

The main connections:

  • Direct international services to Belgium and France via high speed train system: Thalys
  • Frequent international trains to Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium
  • Frequent services within the Netherlands:
    • Intercity line to The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport and Amsterdam (north)
    • Intercity line to Utrecht and on to Deventer or Enschede (the east), Leeuwarden (north-west) or Groningen (north-east)
    • Intercity line to Dordrecht, Roosendaal and on to Vlissingen (south west)
    • Intercity line to Dordrecht, Breda, Tilburg, Eindhoven and Venlo (south east)
    • Night services every hour connecting every day of the week to Delft, The Hague, Leiden, Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, and, with a detour, Utrecht. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night services (either direct or via a detour) to Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Roosendaal.
    • Several semi-fast services and local trains originate or call at Rotterdam Centraal; semi-fast services Amsterdam-Breda.
  • Detailed information available from the site of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways)[33]

In Rotterdam, public transport services are provided by these companies:

  • NS (Dutch Railways) ; Train services
  • RET (Rotterdam Elektrische Tram); Tram, city-bus, metro, randstadrail and ferry-services in Rotterdam and surrounding cities.
  • Arriva Netherlands ; Province bus services.
  • Connexxion ; Province bus services.
  • Veolia ; Province bus services.

Metro

Main article: Rotterdam Metro

In 1968 Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a metro system. Currently the metro system consists of three main lines, each of which has its own variants. The system has 78.3 km (48.7 mi) of railtracks and there are 62 stations. The system is operated by 5 lines; 3 lines (A, B and C) on the east-west line, and two (D and E) on the north-south line.

Map of Rotterdam Metro
Line Southern / western terminus Northern / eastern terminus
Line A Schiedam Centrum Binnenhof
Line B Schiedam Centrum Nesselande
Line C De Akkers De Terp
Line D De Akkers Rotterdam Centraal
Line E Slinge Den Haag Centraal
Rotterdam metro

Tram

Main article: Trams in Rotterdam

The Rotterdam tramway network offers 9 regular tram lines and 4 "special" tram lines with a total length of 93.4 km (58.0 mi). Service Tramlines in Rotterdam as of 2013:

  • 2: (Rotterdam) Charlois – Rotterdam Lombardijen NS – (Rotterdam) Groene Tuin (Drives only at the Southern part of the city)
  • 4: (Rotterdam) Molenlaan - Rotterdam CS - (Rotterdam) Spangen
  • 7: (Rotterdam) Woudestein – Rotterdam CS – (Rotterdam) Willemsplein
  • 8: (Rotterdam) Spangen – Rotterdam CS – (Rotterdam) Kleiweg
  • 20: Rotterdam CS – Rotterdam Lombardijen NS – (Rotterdam) Thialf
  • 21: (Schiedam) Woudhoek – Station Schiedam Centrum – Rotterdam CS – (Rotterdam) De Esch
  • 23: (Rotterdam) Marconiplein – Rotterdam CS – (Rotterdam) Beverwaard
  • 24: (Vlaardingen) Holy - Station Schiedam Centrum - Rotterdam CS - (Rotterdam) De Esch
  • 25: (Rotterdam) Schiebroek – Rotterdam CS – (Barendrecht) Carnisselande
A Citadis tram outside the former Rotterdam Centraal, 2008

Special tram lines:

  • 10: Historical tram line, only runs in summer and throughout the whole city for tourist information. Using historical Rotterdam Trams from the year 1928.
  • 18: Tramline from Rotterdam Central Station towards Park, runs only at the Dunya Festival and during the Rotterdam World Port Days.
  • 12: CS – De Kuip (English: The Tub, Feyenoord stadium) or CS – Het Kasteel (English:The Castle, Sparta Stadium). Football- tramline, only for big fixtures at De Kuip or Het Kasteel.
  • Snert-tram: Historical tram, only in winter as a tourist tram through Rotterdam. Passengers are provided with a cup of "snert"; Rotterdam dialect for erwtensoep (English: Pea-soup). Rolling stock is a historical Rotterdam tram from 1968.
  • IJsjes-tram: Summer version of the snert tram, providing tourists with ijsjes rather than snert (English: ice cream).
Water Taxi in Rotterdam

Bus
Rotterdam offers 33 city bus lines with a total length of 432.7 km (268.9 mi).

RET runs buses in the city of Rotterdam and surrounding places like Spijkenisse, Barendrecht, Ridderkerk, Rhoon, Poortugaal, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Delft and Cappele a/d. IJssel. Buslines:

  • 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48,50, 51, 53, 54, 56, 57, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80 96, 97, 98, 126, 137, 140, 143, 144, 145, 146, 170, 171, 173, 174, 182, 183, 184, 187, 188, 204 and 290.

Arriva Netherlands, Connexxion and Veolia runs busses from other cities to Rotterdam.

Water bus
Every half hour a water bus (Waterbus route 1) goes from Rotterdam to Dordrecht and vice versa. The trip takes an hour, inclusive stops along the way. The ferry can carry about 130 passengers and there is space for 60 bicycles. The stops are:

International relations[edit]

Rotterdam has city and port connections throughout the world. In 2008, the city had 13 sister cities, 12 partner cities, and 4 sister ports.[34]

Sister cities[edit]

Partner cities[edit]

Sister ports[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Rotterdam features in Edgar Allan Poe's short story ‘The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall’ (1835), as well as J.T. Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter' (1839).

Part of Jackie Chan's 1998 film 'Who am I?' is set in Rotterdam.

Ender's Shadow, part of the series Ender's Game is partially set in Rotterdam.

In season 1, episode 2 of The Golden Girls ("Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding?"), Dorothy reminisces how her ex-husband, Stan, would buy her tulips after they had a fight. "Towards the end, our house looked like Easter in Rotterdam."

The British band The Beautiful South recorded a song named after this region.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "College van b en w" [Board of mayor and aldermen] (in Dutch). Gemeente Rotterdam. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Anita Bouman–Eijs; Thijmen van Bree; Wouter Jonkhoff; Olaf Koops; Walter Manshanden; Elmer Rietveld (17 December 2012). De Top 20 van Europese grootstedelijke regio's 1995–2011; Randstad Holland in internationaal perspectief [Top 20 of European metropolitan regions 1995–2011; Randstad Holland compared internationally] (Technical report) (in Dutch). Delft: TNO. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Postcodetool for 3011AD". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Witte Huis or White House,". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  8. ^ Edwin Ruis, Spionnennest 1914-1918 (Meppel 2012)
  9. ^ "Klimaattabel Rotterdam, langjarige gemiddelden, tijdvak 1981–2010" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Klimaattabel Rotterdam, langjarige extremen, tijdvak 1971–2000" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Gebiedsanalyse 2006, Centrumgebied, Gemeente Rotterdam. Page 7 and 9.
  12. ^ Ad van der Meer and Onno Boonstra, Repertorium van Nederlandse gemeenten, KNAW, 2006.
  13. ^ Kim Jansen (2010). Muslims in Rotterdam (Report). Open Society Institute. http://www.soros.org/initiatives/home/articles_publications/publications/muslims-rotterdam-20101119/a-muslims-rotterdam-report-en-20101119.pdf.
  14. ^ "Werkloosheid in Rotterdam KNSexamen: Weblog Inburgering, NT2, examen". Knsexamen.nl. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  15. ^ "Over Brainport". brainport.nl. Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  16. ^ "Home". Port of Rotterdam. Retrieved 2009-05-06. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Business School Ranking of the Financial Times 2009". Rankings.ft.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  18. ^ storycode=406694&seq=2&type=T&c=1 "Top European institutions in clinical medicine". Timeshighereducation.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  19. ^ "Concertgebouw and Holland Festival manifesto". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  20. ^ "Witte de With museum". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  21. ^ "Maritiem Museum official site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  22. ^ "Scheepswerf 'De Delft' official site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  23. ^ "ING building brief". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  24. ^ "Sky Scraper City ING site". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  25. ^ "Emporis Maastoren". Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  26. ^ Laatste nieuws · 41e ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament
  27. ^ "International Film Festival official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. [dead link]
  28. ^ "Rotterdam Marathon official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  29. ^ "KoninginnedagFestival official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  30. ^ "Zomer Carnival official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  31. ^ "Pleinbioscoop official website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  32. ^ "World Port Day (Rotterdam) official website (in Dutch and English)". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  33. ^ "Dutch Railway website". Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad (Dutch) Rotterdam. Een sterk internationaal merk, Municipality of Rotterdam, 2008. Retrieved on 27 June 2014.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m (Dutch) Eric Vrijsen, "De schaamte voorbij: Gaza als zusterstad", Elsevier, 2008. Retrieved on 27 June 2014.

External links[edit]