Rotterdam, a very modern city

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In this installment I’ll talk about Rotterdam, a city that suffered as few consequences of the Second World War and in later years has reinvented itself as a modern metropolis full of life.


Photography by

A little history:

Rotterdam was born in the Middle Ages as a settlement on the banks of the River Rotte. The dam which raised its inhabitants gave the town its name (Rotte, the river, which means Dam Dam). His recognition came in 1328 with the granting of «rights of town.» During the Eighty Years War, which pitted the Netherlands to Spain, Rotterdam was key because it allowed the supply of goods during the time that the ports of Amsterdam and Antwerp were blocked.

The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century the port of Rotterdam modernized with new infrastructure such as railways and bridges. However, it was the canal Nieuwe Waterweg (1872) and subsequent extensions, Maasvlakte project (1960 – present), who have put Rotterdam on the cutting edge.

Already in the twentieth century have to talk about a day that definitely changed the history of the city. In 1940 the Dutch were out of World War II because of its good relations with the Germans. They were wrong, in May of that year Germany attacked the Netherlands. The German plan was intended to conquer the country in just one day because of a weak army, subdued trying to maintain its colonial hegemony.

Rotterdam, a very modern city

Photography by Marcel Oosterwijk

The point is that the Dutch did not surrender and therefore, the Germans wanted to make a show of force to bend them. After a short siege the German army issued an ultimatum to the Dutch Mariniers Korps to give themselves or the city would be destroyed. They refused.

On May 14, 1940, the German air bombardment on the city center, literally erasing the map. The Dutch government had to surrender to avoid greater evils. The images speak for themselves.

 After the fall of the Nazi regime in 1945 the city began its reconstruction. Unlike other war torn cities would not regain its old image and, looking ahead, chose to make a completely new city.

As we have seen Rotterdam stole his story. Just original buildings remain and most of those that appear are reconstructions.

Municipality of Rotterdam:

Since, after the war, the architects met with a blank sheet redesigned a vanguard city. Rotterdam’s image is closely related to modern constructions. We have a clear example upon arrival. If we come by train, just outside the station, we will find the Delftse Poort, a skyscraper of 151 meters headquarters Nationale Nederlanden insurance. Directly opposite is the Millennium Tower (149 meters) and the Holland Casino.

Rotterdam's image

Photography by xiffy

We Weena street an avenue of great architectural interest. If we follow a roundabout walk the street Coolsingel born, one of the main streets of Rotterdam, where the town hall. This is the most commercial street of the city and on the way we see examples of postmodern architecture.

Before reaching the Maas River we stop at the intersection with the streets and Westblaak Blaak. In the first of them we have the Central Library, with yellow tubes in the style of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the famous Cube Houses.

Cubic Houses of Rotterdam:
Cubic Houses of Rotterdam is an example of imagination and renewal that has taken the city, including Red Square. From here we will have to walk a long time to get to the museum district and a little further, see a couple of curious buildings such as Torre Euromaast and Shipping & Transport College.

Rotterdam a city that deserves to know!

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