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Rotterdam – Manhattan of the Netherlands

Rotterdam – Manhattan of the Netherlands


A city with one of the most fascinating tales of origins, Rotterdam is today one of the world’s largest and busiest economic centers with a skyline that could easily have it called “the Manhattan of Europe”. A city with the quality of ever changing itself with the times, whose citizens believe in being the best at what they do and an infrastructure that suits its modern attributes Rotterdam is one of the greatest cities of Europe. The city is one of the examples of modern architecture with its landscape being dominated by beautiful, modern day buildings which are representative of the nature of this city. The port at Rotterdam is today among the four largest ports and until recently was the busiest port in the world. Rotterdam is located geographically in an area of Europe which has helped it thrive so much economically and culturally and also helping it become a “gateway to Europe”.


Rotterdam’s origins are unique it started out as a dam built on the River Rotte as the inhabitants of the region at the time of were tired of the constant flooding of the land due to the river. Human settlement started to form around the River Rotte meaning ‘muddy waters’ around 900 CE but all development in the region stopped due to heavy flooding from the river, this prompted the construction of the dam on the Rotte River or the ‘Rotterdam’ which was eventually built in 1260. Almost a century later in 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland and thus marked the beginning of the historic rise of the city. Soon a port and shipping canal was built which gave the city access to much of Europe including Germany, England and allowed it to urbanize and flourish as a trade center.


By the time 1872 came Rotterdam had already established itself as one of the busiest ports in Europe and was greatly influential in the success of the Dutch East India Company but its position was further enhanced with the building of the Neuwe Watreweg in the which spured economic growth like anything. The city and the harbor began to expand rapidly on the southern banks of the river with new American style offices coming around the business center of the city including a 45 meter building which was in 1898 the tallest office in Europe. Rotterdam faced great chances of extinction during the Second World War when the city was almost wiped out by the German Luftwaffe culminating in the famous bombings of 1940 known as the “Rotterdam Blitz”. After the finish of the war the city went into rapid urbanization and redevelopment which has given the city its current look and image of being one of the most daring architectural cities in the world.


Rotterdam is a city which is full of live, purpose, motivations and drive being the economic center of Netherlands as well in Europe the city is a maker of dreams and fortunes. The landscape, the culture, the daring architecture all make this city one of the most fascinating places to visit in Europe. The city itself has a population of some 600,000 strong people but the combined area of Rotterdam and The Hague has a population of over two million people making the largest metropolitan area in the country. Getting into the city is very easy and hassle free due to the presence of the Rotterdam The Hague Airport which connects the city to the entire continent and the Rotterdam Centraal Station which connects the city through rails to the rest of the continent. Getting around in the city is very comfortable and cheap, lovers of bicycle will find the city very convenient like any other Dutch city. Public transport is also very well developed with choices in the form of metro, tram and buses which connect various points of the city one can get information about them at the helpline number of 9292.


Rotterdam city is full of interesting sights and places for keeping one entertained through their visit. The city is full of wonderful museums which depicts the culture, history and unique terms of interest belonging to the Dutch culture some of the famous museums include Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen which was founded in 1849, Maritime Museum a must visit to learn about the maritime heritage of the city, Kunsthal and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Rotterdam has always been big on culture which is one of the reasons it was voted the cultural capital of Europe along with Porto, the city has a very vibrant multi-cultural set up which is expressed in the various festivals held in the city such as the Summer Carnival, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Metropolis Pop Festival and many others. The city has a great nightlife with sprawling parties and night clubs. Being at Rotterdam one must visit the Euromast one of the tallest towers in Europe to have a panaromic view of the whole city, the City Hall which is one of its only remaining historic monuments and the famous windmills of which only seven remain out of which only De ster and De Lelie are open to visitors.

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