Saturday, 18 March 2017


When we arrived to Rotterdam my human secretary was really reluctant to go into downtown, telling me that visiting docks when it is getting dark is not a good idea. I had to use all my negotiation skills to persuade her to go. I hope you will enjoy those glimpses of Rotterdam at twilight.

The history of Rotterdam dates back to 1270 when a dam was constructed in the river Rotte and people settled around it. But the city center is quite modern, with office building housing the headquarters of the biggest Dutch multinationals.

When I talked to Dutch people from other cities, they often highlighted that unlike in many other places, in Rotterdam there are many skyscrapers.

Just a few hundred meters from the main train station you will find the City Hall. It was built a hundred years ago and is one of very few building which have survived the bombing of Rotterdam during World War II.

Just next to it stands a monument devoted to those who did not return home after the war.

Let's cross one of the many canals and move closer to the river.

Finally we arrive to the market square. Or more precisely to the Market Hall.

Not impressed? Then look inside.

This huge indoor market is the size of a football pitch. The inner walls are decorated with bright paintings depicting food and flowers.

Inside you will find a myriad of small shops, selling of course all types of food ...

... and flowers.

Next to the Market Hall your eye can be drawn first by this spinning wheel.

But I was more interested to see the Cube Houses. And yes, they are cubic. And yes, they lie on one of the corners. And yes, people really live in them.

But Dutch people are used to using the limited space they have in unusual ways. For example they build two-level bike parking lots.

Since its creations, Rotterdam was an important port. If you would like to get a feeling what it meant some centuries ago, you can visit the Konigspoort Maritime Museum which is very close.

But still today, Rotterdam is the biggest and most important port in Europe. On the New Meuse river, you can see many large barges.

They cross many bridges, the best known of which is the Erasmus bridge. Erasmus was the most famous Dutch humanist and philosopher of the fifteenth century who was borne in Rotterdam It is a bascule bridge, which means that it can be opened and lifted if a tall ship needs to pass it.

It is getting really dark, let's return to the city center. We pass next to the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Next to it, you can see the St. Lawrence church.

The building in the back is again the Market Hall. You can see clearly that it is in fact a residential building. Or maybe two residential buildings with a shopping space in between.

I hope that you have enjoyed this evening walk through Rotterdam. Remember it was not easy to be done. But even my human secretary seemed to truly enjoy it in the end. Well, life is a spinning wheel in the end, it goes around and around ...

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