|Bourgmestre Mandate||Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA) |
|International telephone number||+(31)|
|Population||634,253 hab. (July 2017)|
|Urban population||1,424,662 hab. (July 2017)|
|Coordinates||51° 55′ 00″ north, 4° 29′ 00″ east|
|Area||31,935 ha = 319.35 km2|
Geolocation on the map: South Holland
Geolocation on the map: Netherlands
Geolocation on the map: Netherlands
Rotterdam (pronounced in Dutch /ˌ r ɔ r ˈ d ɑ m / ) is a Dutch municipality, located in the province of South Holland. The municipal population is 634,660. Around 1,424,000 live in its agglomeration, which is part of the conurbation of Randstad (7,100,000 inhabitants between Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, Dordrecht and Utrecht). Its inhabitants are the Rotterdamois.
The Netherlands' second largest city in terms of population after Amsterdam, Rotterdam represents the industrial heart of the country, and its geographical position at the mouth of the Rhine and the Meuse, close to the North Sea, ensures it a strategic commercial place in European trade, particularly with Germany.
Eighth world port in 2014, and first European port, its port infrastructure extends over almost 25 miles. The capacity and modernity of these guarantees it a near monopoly on oil arrivals, being the only European port, with Le Havre, capable of hosting supertankers carrying up to 400,000 tons of oil. The port is also an important hub for raw materials and containers.
Founded in the 12th century, Rotterdam was organized around the dyke of the river Rotte (which gives its name to the city) and the first fishing ports: the old port, Oude Haven and the Haringvliet docks. It received its city status in 1340. Trade flourished there for centuries, while the port expanded and trade with the West and East Indies increased. The birthplace of the humanist philosopher Erasmus in the 16th century and the painter Pieter de Hooch in the 17th century, it promotes cultural life and participates in the Dutch influence during the golden century. In the nineteenth century, after stagnating trade due to the continental blockade and the inadaptation of its port, the city grew again around 1870, with the opening of a new waterway that gave it direct access to the North Sea, the expansion of its port and the industrialization of its infrastructure. Years of recession result from World War I, followed by the economic crisis of 1929. The Second World War put a stop to this development, the center of Rotterdam being completely destroyed by the Nazi army, during the air bombardment of 14 May 1940, which forces the country to capitulate. Reconstruction resumed after the war, and the expansion of the port and associated industries. After a recession in the 1980s, caused by successive oil shocks, the city diversified its economic and commercial activities in line with the expansion of its port in the 2000s. It develops its contemporary architecture, showcases its museums and modern art, and thus increases the city's tourist potential.
Rotterdam has often faced many political, economic, and historical challenges. Water management and climate change risks remain a key challenge for the city in the 21st century.
Location and neighboring municipalities
Administrative limits of Rotterdam.
The urban region of Rotterdam.
Aerial view of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is located in the Netherlands, in the southwest part of the province of South Holland. The city is part of the urban region of Rotterdam called in Dutch stadsregio Rotterdam or Rijnmond (meaning mouth of the Rhine).
The territory of Rotterdam is delimited, in the "clockwise direction", by the communes of Pijnacker-Nootdorp and Lansingerland to the north, Zuidplas to the north-east, Capelle aan den IJssel and Krimpen aan den IJssel to the east, Ridderkerk to the south-east, Barendrecht and Albrandswaard to the south, Spijkenisse, Bernisse, Brielle and Westvoorne to the southwest, Schiedam, Flardingue and Maassluis to the west, Westland, Midden-Delfland and Delft to the northwest.
Rotterdam is 18.35 km from Dordrecht, 20.38 km from The Hague, 26.55 km from the municipality of Leyde, 48.42 km from Utrecht and 57,79 km from Amsterdam.
Rotterdam occupies a total area of approximately 320 km2 of which 115 km2, or about 35%, are occupied by bodies of water. This area makes it the second largest Dutch commune in terms of its size.
The port of Rotterdam, meanwhile, extends over a distance of 42 km, covering an area of 12,643ha from Rotterdam to the mouth of the North Sea (Maasvlakte I and II).
Rotterdam, due to its location downstream of the Rhine-Meuse estuary, is facing a complex and dynamic hydrographic network. This unique situation explains the frequent alteration, over the centuries, of the rivers that water the city. Three main rivers cross the city: the New Meuse, the Rotte and the Schie. This river network is complemented by the Old Meuse, the Scheur and several canals and lakes.
Downtown and Northeast
Rotterdam is watered by the New Meuse (Nieuwe Maas), a 24 km long river whose bed width varies between 265 and 465 m. Its level fluctuates between a minimum of -13.40 m and a maximum of -5.20 m. The hydrological data of the New Meuse are recorded at the Willemsbrug station, which measures the height of the water and its temperature daily. At Brienenoord Bridge, the average level of the New Meuse is -6.5 m. At the Willemsbrug station, the average interannual flow rate of the New Meuse is set at 6000 m3/s, with an average value ranging from a minimum of 600 m3/s to a maximum of 10 000 m3/s.
The town is also fed by the Rotte River, a tributary of the New Meuse whose route, approximately 22 km long, is strongly curved. The Rotte is fitted out with a seawall stretching over a length of 400 m. With an optimal slope of 30 cm, the height of this river varies between -90 cm and -120 cm compared to the standard level of Amsterdam (or NAP). Its average height is estimated to be -1.02 m and its minimum critical threshold is estimated to be -0.65 m. In Rotterdam, in 2005, the average level of this river, significantly lower than its overall average height, was observed at -1.0 m. In the city, several pumping stations, combined with polders, have been built around the Rotte hydrographic system, including the Kralingse Plas, draining a surface of 567.1 ha and having a capacity of 30 m3/min; the Binnenwegsepolder, with a drainage surface of 1 424ha and a capacity of 160 m3/min; and the Noorderkanaalweg, with a drainage surface of 16ha and a capacity of 4,5 m3/min. Built in 1977, the pumping station of Schilthuis, an establishment located on the Boezem or Toeverkanaal (canal for unloading the waters of the Rotte towards the New Meuse) and located a little further downstream, at the level of the Oostplein metro station, drains a surface of 20ha and owns a capacity of 1200 m3/min.
In the north-east, Rotterdam is fed by the Rotterdamse Schie, an arm of the Schie and by the Noorderkanaal, canal dug from 1929. In 1938, the Noorderkanaal was branched to the Rotta and the Schie, and became navigable.
The New Meuse spanned by the Willemsbrug.
The Schie Rotterdamse.
The west of the communal territory is fed by the Nieuwe Waterweg, a canal about 4 miles long and whose bed is between 480 and 675 meters wide. The Nieuwe Waterweg level ranges from -16 to -14.50 m compared to the NAP repository. Located slightly further south, the Caland canal, which runs parallel to the Nieuwe Waterweg, spreads over approximately 20 km between Hoek van Holland and Brittaniehaven, south of the Rozenburg district. A lock allows the junction with the Hartel canal. At the west end of the city, the Beer canal, dug in the 1960s and 1970s, allows to connect the Caland canal via the Maasvlakte, to the Hartel Canal, at the Europoort level. It runs on a 2.5 miles long course.
Aerial view of the Hartel Canal.
South of the New Meuse
The south of Rotterdam, at the level of Hoogvliet, is crossed by Oude Maas (Old Meuse), a waterway that flows into the Scheur and the New Meuse. The Oude Maas, 30.2 km long for a width of between 180 and 340 m, has an average level of -9.45 m NAP. The Hartel canal, separated from the Old Meuse by two locks, is about 14 miles long in the southwest margins of the communal territory. This channel, intended for river navigation, has a level between -0.50 and -0.20 m NAP, its average value being -0.30 m NAP.
Aerial view of the Caland Canal.
Oude Maas, in Hoogvliet.
New Botlek bridge (opened in 2015) spanning Oude Maas.
Geology and relief
The territory of Rotterdam is characterized by three main types of soil: sandy land, mainly found in the center of the city, peaty land and clay-dominated land. These soils are based on a geological base of Tertiary-formed deposits. This base was covered by layers of sediment from the Meuse and Rhine delta, the sea and river basins, with the most likely origins of the erosion and climate change that occurred during an ice age. In addition, peatlands, which appeared after these sedimentary layers, also came to superimpose themselves on the geological base of the communal territory. Pleistocene is marked by sedimentary deposits from the Rhine during the interglacial period known as Waalien and the Upper Tiglian, as well as those from the Meuse, formed during the Eemian period. Most of the outlying land, consisting of lignite associated with marine sediments — subatlantico-intertidal and atlantico-intertidal — and fluvial (particularly those from the Rhine), formed during the Holocene for the oldest and around 10,000 BC for the most recent.
Most of the municipality is located at an altitude between 0 and 10 m, with its lowest rating being 6.67 m below sea level.
Climate data from the municipality are recorded at the Rotterdam-The Hague airport station.
As for the whole of the Netherlands, Rotterdam has a temperate oceanic climate (rated "Cfb" according to the Köppen classification) with cool summers and mild winters. In summer, average temperatures are regularly below 20°C, while average temperatures in winter rarely fall below 0°C. Moreover, the North Sea, close to the city, regulates its temperature, preventing too extreme values. However, this stretch of sea gives the port city a relatively humid climate. Rainfall is abundant in each season, although spring is much drier than autumn.
|Average minimum temperature (°C)||0.8||0.5||2.6||4.3||7.8||10.6||13.1||12.8||10.6||7.5||4.2||1.4||6.4|
|Minimum lowest average temperature (°C)||-17.1||-16.5||-13.4||-6||-1.4||0.5||3.6||4.6||0.4||-5.1||-9||-13.3||-6.1|
|Average Temperature (°C)||3.6||3.7||6.4||9.1||12.9||15.5||17.8||17.6||14.8||11.2||7.3||4.2||10.4|
|Average Maximum Temperature (°C)||6||6.6||9.9||13.5||17.5||19.9||22.2||22.1||18.9||14.7||9.9||6.6||14|
|Highest Average Maximum Temperature (°C)||14.1||16.7||23.8||27.1||30.9||33||35||34.9||32.1||26||18.5||15.1||25.6|
The toponym of Rotterdam is likely to have its origins around the 10th century when a small locality, protected by a modest sea wall or Erddam, is built at the lowest level of the River Rotte, a tributary of the New Meuse on its right bank, which finds its source in the ancient marshes of Moerkapelle, about 16 km away.
The Dutch word Dam means "dike", Rotterdam means "dike on the Rotta". The first dykes appear around the year 1000. In 1028, to protect themselves from the water, the inhabitants built "terps", artificial heights, where they erect houses. This human institution is referred to as Rotta.
The city of Rotta was first mentioned in the writings when Emperor Conrad II donated a church to the monastery of Hohors in Amersfoort in 1208.
From Prehistory to the Middle Ages
The human presence is attested on the territory of Rotterdam, on the edge of the North Sea, from the Mesolithic era. These traces of occupation were highlighted in 2001. Later, sites near the New Meuse are used. During the ancient Neolithic period, around 7,000 BC, the communal territory was used by fishermen. The first domestic establishments formed around 4,000 BC. During the Bronze Age, until the Iron Age, the territory of Rotterdam shows continuity of use. Artifacts, made of bronze and attributed to around 800 BC, were discovered near the New Meuse and the areas along the North Sea coast. At that time, fortifications, built in the form of a 25 m long slope, protected domestic habitats.
In the first half of the 1st century, while the territory of Rotterdam was an integral part of the province of Lower Germania, Roman troops, led by General Canaeus Domitius Corbulo, settled on a part of the communal territory and founded a military rear base there. In 49 AD, this castrum was placed under the authority of Roman General Claudius Corbulo.
During the High Middle Ages, in the 8th and 9th centuries, domestic habitats associated with agricultural structures were erected near the Rotta. During archeological investigations, the remains of these buildings are found, as well as numerous artifacts, including artifacts such as fibules. Some of these buildings were reused during the founding of Rotta in the 10th century and remain in use until the 12th century.
In 1164, the first terraces built on the territory and Rotta were destroyed by a storm. For several decades, the area remains underwater and is covered with a layer of clay. Preventive archeological investigations have revealed the remains of this primitive site, during the breakthrough of the Willemsporttunnel in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The inhabitants took refuge in the higher area of Hillegersberg, where a castle, called the "Huis te Berghe", was built in the 13th century, next to the already existing church. The remains of this castle were excavated in 1969 and 1970. In the 13th century, the region was cultivated, protected by dykes first maintained by baillis (ambachtsheren), then by the peasants themselves. New dikes are erected, as well as several castles: Honingen — located on the current street of Hoflaan, in the Kralingen district — and built between 1244 and 1252; Huis te Crooswijk, located on the river Rotte; Weena, located at Hofplein; Bulgersteyn, Spanger and Starrenburg, on the Spaanspolder ("Spanish polder").
Towards the end of the Middle Ages, Rotterdam is a still little developed city, organized around a port with modest activities, and spread along the Rotte. The construction of the first major dykes on the Rotta, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk, began in the 13th century. A dam on the river, built in 1260, is probably located at the current Hoogstraat ("High Street"), considered the oldest street in Rotterdam. In 1270, Rotterdam obtained first city status in the county of Holland. It was annexed by the Flemish in 1294. On , William II of Hainaut granted Rotterdam rights upholding its urban status. This communal charter then concerns about 2,000 inhabitants. In 1350, the Rotterdamse Schie canal, which links Rotterdam to Delft and Schiedam, was completed, allowing Rotterdam to expand its influence and trade. In the 1370s and 1380s, due to trade issues, control of this canal produced major disputes between Delft and Rotterdam. In 1389 these disputes led to the digging of the Delfshavense Schie, with the agreement of Albert I of Hainaut.
At the beginning of the 15th century, on , when the territory of the Netherlands was integrated into the Burgundian state, Philippe le Bon was proclaimed regent of Rotterdam. The elevation of the St. Lawrence Church began at that time, with construction ending in the 1470s.
On , during the civil war known as the Phish and Cabillauds War, in which the Dutch bourgeoisie and nobility were confronted, the town was taken by Frans van Brederode and his supporters of the Phish party.
Modern and Dutch Golden Age
On , riots, led by Guillaume I d'Orange, led by the Gueux de mer, broke out in the city. According to a correspondence dated 1573, Philippe de Marnix, close to the Prince of Orange and engaged in this revolt, is in charge of the command of Rotterdam. From 1585, after the siege of Antwerp and the blockade carried out by the Dutch army, the Belgian city was ruined commercially, and part of the maritime trade of Antwerp was transferred to Rotterdam, with many traders and industrialists choosing to settle in that city. Rotterdam then develops new economic potential, including commercial, movement and storage of goods. Large basins are then built in the port, to facilitate the traffic and docking of ships.
The humanist Erasmus, born between 1466 and 1469 in Rotterdam, is one of the symbols of the Republic of Letters and the renewal of knowledge in modern times. The names of several works of art, contemporary buildings or statues, including the bridge Erasmus, the University of Rotterdam, the hospital and the municipal library, recall its symbolic importance for the city. The development of Protestantism, combined with the humanist movement, welcomed the United Provinces, which advocated religious tolerance. During this period, Protestants, from the southern Netherlands, which is present-day Belgium, took refuge in the northern provinces, where they could freely practice their worship, and created some forty French-speaking Walloon churches. The first Walloon church in Rotterdam was established in 1591. This same religious tolerance allowed the first Portuguese Jewish community to be established in the Netherlands in 1610, followed by a second group in 1647. The largest community is in Amsterdam, but in Rotterdam, the Portuguese "conversos", descendants of Spanish marranes converted after 1492, can practice quite freely, as long as they remain discreet, and they contribute to economic development through intermediary activities in trade with Spain and Morocco. Their first synagogue was built between Wijnhaven and the Bierstraat.
During the entire seventeenth century, and like the Netherlands as a whole, Rotterdam enjoyed a period of prosperity, both in the economic field and in the arts and literature, known as the "Dutch Golden Century". Rotterdam, like other Dutch cities, founded the illustrious school of Rotterdam in 1681: this illustrious school is a municipal higher education institution that offers courses, without issuing university degrees. Classes are given in Latin. The school of Rotterdam, without reaching the notoriety of the Athenaeum Illustre of Amsterdam, operates until the French occupation and the redevelopment of the university of 1810, and offers courses in Latin, Greek, and law from a humanist perspective.
At the very beginning of the seventeenth century, the port grew, took sufficient importance to form one of the six self-governing chambers of the Dutch East Indian Company (founded in 1602) with Amsterdam, Delft, Middelbourg, Hoorn and Enkhuizen. The Rotterdamoise room holds 20% of the company's capital.
In the middle of the seventeenth century, Rotterdam was progressively established as the second largest trading city in the United Provinces, in front of Middelbourg. It also becomes the economic capital of the province of South Holland. Trade with the Baltic Sea and the North Sea is very important. Several Dutch officers who sailed for the Admiralty of Rotterdam and died in combat, including Witte de With and Egbert Kortenaer, are buried inside the St. Lawrence Church. Witte de With's body was laid there in 1659, after the battle of the Öresund off Copenhagen, and Kortnaer's body was buried there in 1665, after the battle of Lowestoft.
In the years immediately preceding or following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, a second Protestant refuge leads to between 200,000 and 300,000 Protestants leaving France for different European countries. Approximately 65,000 of them take refuge in the main Dutch cities, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Leyde, The Hague and Rotterdam. A number of them contribute to the Republic of Letters. In 1681, the Protestant pastor Pierre Bayle was appointed a teacher at the illustrious school in Rotterdam. In 1682 he published Thoughts on the Comet and created the journal of literary criticism News of the Republic of Letters. He is best known for his Historical and Critical Dictionary. Theologian and historian Pierre Jurieu is also appointed professor at the illustrious school in Rotterdam. He was a pastor of the Walloon Church and wrote in 1686 The Pastoral Letters to the faithful who moan under the captivity of Babylon, a political pamphlet widely circulated underground in Europe, which challenged the legal validity of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and, in certain circumstances, advocated disobedience to the civil authorities.
The eighteenth century was marked by an increase in imports, including draperies made in England and goods from Dutch colonial possessions. Thus, it was during this period that Rotterdam became an industrial port.
In November 1775, a high intensity storm caused the flooding of the city's warehouses and the destruction of the locks built on the port of Delfshaven. At Delfshaven, the level of water submersion reached 2.75 m NAP. The devastating scale of the flooding forces engineers and local authorities to review the operation of evacuations and water protection. A second flood occurs the following year.
Rotterdam facing the French period (1793-1813)
Like most European countries, the Netherlands is affected by the revolutionary movements that bring about the establishment of a sister republic, the Batavian Republic. In 1796, with the support of French armies and revolutionary representatives, the city was administered by political figures belonging to the movement of patriots. From 1797, the Admiralty of Rotterdam, who had managed the city's military fleet until 1795, was replaced by an advisory committee. This commission, set up by a law passed in the Batavian assembly dated , provided war buildings to the French republic in 1798. This military aid, which took place in the context of the wars waged by France against England, was the result of agreements between the committee's leaders and a delegation made up of Vice-Admiral Winter, Minister Delacroix and General Joubert.
The Batavian Republic ended on and, between 1806 and 1810, gave way to the Kingdom of Holland, the satellite state of the First French Empire, of which Louis Bonaparte was named king. At that time, like other cities with more than 5,000 inhabitants, Rotterdam was forced to adopt the new administrative system and the city was then managed by a mayor. The Great Army still needs more soldiers, and there is strong pressure on the Netherlands to force the enrollment of young people. Forced recruitment causes public unrest in various Dutch cities, notably Rotterdam, while protectionist customs measures aim at preventing entry of Dutch products into France, causing a 30% decline in foreign trade compared to 1793. In 1810, the country is directly annexed to the French Empire. The entry of French troops into Rotterdam led to a major riot, mainly due to new demands for conscription. From 1811, Napoleon I came to Rotterdam in person, in order to negotiate cooperation treaties under which the city had to provide him with military equipment and soldiers. The military difficulties of Napoleon I, starting in 1812, increased the demands for conscription, requisition and confiscation, while many Dutch soldiers died in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1813, the Napoleonic armies evacuated the city, which was taken over in the same year by the troops of the Prince of Orange, the future King of the Netherlands united under the name of William I er.
Modernization of the city and industrial development
The construction of the Nieuwe Waterweg ("New Canal"), completed in March 1872, strengthens the activity of river transport. This canal, 400 to 700 m wide, for a depth of 11 m, extends from Maassluis to Hoek van Holland, allowing the municipality to increase its sea opening to the estuary of the New Meuse.
In this second half of the 19th century, the city's population reached 100,000. It has adopted a structured plan, cut by several canals bordered by docks and beautiful walks. The town hall, the palace of the Grand Council, the Stock Exchange, the hotel of the two companies of the East and West Indies, the theater are the bourgeois centers. Urban redevelopment necessitates the destruction of the city's old gates, whose military or customs function has disappeared. Rotterdam has around ten doors: The Hofpoort was destroyed in 1833, the Ooster Oude Hoofdpoort, built in 1597-1598, was destroyed in 1856. The last remaining gate, the Delftsche Poort, was dismantled in 1938 to be displaced but its reconstruction, interrupted by the war, did not take place. In the same century, the city created a library, a historic museum, a hospice for the elderly, and a central prison.
In 1872, the construction of the Willemsbrug facilitated the first north-south connection. In 1874, the construction of the sewers and the water supply requested by the hygienists was carried out, after being initiated and designed by the architect and director of public works Willem Nicolaas Rose, in 1841. The construction of this "Waterproject" puts an end to cholera epidemics, the last of which had seriously reached the population in 1866. The industry is active, the metallurgical factories, the chemical factories and the glassworks have grown significantly and work day and night. Tobacco and sugar refineries are another processing cluster. The basis for local imports is flax and guarantee. Rotterdam imports mainly wines, coffee and sugar, tobacco and tea, cotton and wool. But, above all, it is a center for redistribution to other European countries, first and foremost to the German Empire.
In 1880, the port of Rotterdam already occupies a strategic place in trade between the various European ports, the Baltic Sea, London, Hamburg or Le Havre. Dockyards and construction sites are dynamic. The construction of internal ports continues. The population is growing from 160,000 to 315,000. In 1882, the city expanded by annexing the municipality of Delfshaven, which was previously established as the home port of Delft. During the same period, until the eve of the First World War, the city underwent a major economic transition. This new economic orientation is based on significant investments (80 million florins) that enable it to expand and modernize its port infrastructure along the New Meuse River, and on an industry based on semi-finished products. This economic policy continues during the World War. The volume of goods traded with European countries, notably England and Germany, is increasing significantly.
During the war of 1914-1918, the Netherlands retained a status of political neutrality. Nevertheless, because of its proximity to the Belgian front and its trade relations with the UK on the one hand and Germany on the other, Rotterdam became a place of refuge for displaced civilians, smugglers and prison escapees. On , Queen Wilhelmine delivered a speech in which she stressed that the Netherlands was sensitive to the plight of the civilian refugees they were determined to receive. The city received 23,000 Belgian refugees in , and again 18,000 in November, mostly from Antwerp. In 1915, the municipality of Rotterdam invested 99,437 florins to provide for the food needs of these refugees. During the first two years of the war, 315,734 warm clothes were also distributed.
Another significant event was the large flooding in 1916 (observed at 3.37 m NAP) and in 1894 (estimated at 3.17 m NAP).
The population of Romania continues to grow, reaching in 1916 the number of 480,236 inhabitants, of which 3,280 reside in Hoek van Holland.
Between the two world wars, Rotterdam made an important economic transition. Whereas in the first decade of the century the volume of goods handled by the port of Rotterdam was 30 million tons, it increased to more than 40 million in 1937, and then to 42 million the following year. In 1938, the city became the second world port complex, behind New York and in front of London, but also the third in terms of tonnage of ships.
Second World War
As early as 1933, and more importantly from 1938, Germans fled Nazism and crossed the border, legally or, most often, illegally. With the help of the Committee for Jewish Refugees, some were grouped in camps organized in several cities, including Hoek van Holland, until .
In , Germany invaded the Netherlands despite its neutral status. The Dutch army is powerless against the Nazi forces. Naval forces resisted for four days, trying to prevent the entry of the German army during the battle of the bridges of the Meuse, which raged in Rotterdam on the two bridges, railway and road, Willemsbrug.
Germany demands the surrender of the city. The German air force bombed Rotterdam on , destroying the city center, at more than 90%: about 24,000 homes are destroyed, more than 800 people are killed, thousands are injured and 78,000 people are homeless. The city center is ravaged by bombs and the resulting fires. Among the rare buildings saved are the town hall, the Schielandshuis and the Wittehuis.
Rotterdam, like the rest of the country, is occupied for five years. The municipal and national authorities must organize the reconstruction of the city and therefore decide to expropriate the affected areas, whose inhabitants must take refuge in the suburbs or other nearby cities. During the German occupation, many Dutch, as well as refugees from other European countries, particularly German, who had settled in the Netherlands since the 1930s, to flee Nazism, were persecuted and then deported to concentration camps, most of them because of their Jewish origins.
In 1943-1944, as part of liberation operations, Allied aircraft repeatedly bombed the port of Rotterdam. One of these operations, which was conducted west of Rotterdam on , was conducted in very poor weather conditions and reached residential areas. More than three hundred people are killed and more than 20,000 are left homeless. The bombing, sometimes dubbed the "forgotten bombing" (Vergeten bombing), was not publicly commemorated until 1993. German retaliatory operations linked to the resistance of the population marked the end of 1944, while news of the Allied landing and the gradual liberation of France and Belgium spread: in retaliation for the "Dolle Dinsdag" ("mad Tuesday") on , hostages were shot in Rotterdam, then again on , on the Hofplein and Pleinweg, and in Oostzeedijk and Hoflaan. In the autumn of 1944, port infrastructure and equipment were in turn bombed by German planes: the docks are destroyed over 4 miles and more than 120 cranes and all the tankers are destroyed. On 10 and the so-called "Rotterdam Razzia" took place: Around 52,000 men, between the ages of 17 and 40, are arrested by the occupants, who first park them in the Feyenoord stadium before deporting them to the east of the Netherlands and Germany for work; about 400 people are dying as a result of this event. The town was marked by a great famine in the winter of 1944, a consequence of the blockade by the Germans from September. Rotterdam, like the whole of the Netherlands, was liberated by Allied forces in .
On the night of to , a high intensity storm reached the Dutch coast and caused the coastal areas to be flooded. In Rotterdam, this flooding results in an average water level of 3.75 m compared to the NAP repository. The northern part of the city is spared, protected by the dyke, but the southern parts of the dyke are flooded. The lines of communication to the south are cut. Across the country, 1,800 people die from drowning, most of them in the most affected villages on the islands of Zeeland and South Holland. Approximately 10,000 refugees from the affected areas are to be welcomed by the city.
After the destruction of the city center during the Second World War, the city undertook a major reconstruction work where space and modern buildings are privileged. The entire disaster-stricken center, which included manufacturing settlements and housing estates, some of which were deteriorated and overcrowded, is being replaced by a significantly less dense urban area. As a result, during its reconstruction, the housing capacity of the center increased from 28,000 to 7,000 residents. The main roads are widened, the central station is rebuilt and the city center has green spaces, a concert hall, a general hospital and a medical-social center.
Moreover, the harbor, which was rendered inoperable in part by the bombing or deliberate mining carried out by the Nazi army at the end of the war, is also the subject of extensive reconstruction work. This rehabilitation of the harbor complex takes place over a period of five years. After the excavation phase, the new docks, with more modern structures, are built according to two construction models: the "Type A" docks are built on stilts and the "Type B" docks are designed in hard shape and reinforced with boards.
In 1957, the "Europoort Plan", a program allowing the municipality to become an international port city, was voted unanimously by the city council. Then, in 1969, the "Plan 2000+ for the development of the North Delta" was established. At the same time, urban, economic, and demographic development is increasing until the mid-1960s. Then, the town was marked by a decline in the second half of the 1960s and even more in the 1970s (a crisis mainly linked to the two oil shocks of 1973 and 1979), both in the economic and demographic and social fields. At that time, job losses within the city were significant. Starting in the mid-1980s, the city enjoyed renewed prosperity. The late 1980's marked a real "boom" in real estate, but also a renewal of urban infrastructure and equipment. In 1989, a project, the "Plan port 2010", was initiated. This project, supervised by architects and planners, is mainly aimed at restructuring the port areas of Kop van Zuid and Noordstrand.
Entering the 21st Century
Skyscrapers rise, concentrated in the central areas of the city. Original architectural projects became symbols of the city in the early 2010s, including the renovation of the central station, the construction of the country's highest skyscrapers, the Markthal indoor market, and the new Timmerhuis municipal buildings. The city wants to become more attractive for tourism and attract investors. The urban landscape continues to evolve, and the population grows, while the port that stretched to the sea continues to expand by gaining on the sea. The city, together with the Dutch provinces and the state, continues to develop water management plans to prevent the rise of water, the collapse of land and the greater rainfall caused by global warming.
Policy and Administration
The municipality of Rotterdam is the second largest in the country after Amsterdam. It consists, as in the rest of the Netherlands, of a communal council (Gemeenteraad) composed of three entities: the mayor (burgemeester), the alevins (wethouders) and the councilors (gemeenteraasdlid). The executive part is the college formed by the mayor and the deputies, or Burgemeester in Wethouders College (B&W) who are appointed and paid in their duties, while the councilors are elected. Since 2009, the mayor has been Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Romanian politician of Moroccan origin and a member of the Labor Party.
List of mayors since 1945
|Start of term||End of term||Patronyms of the bourgmestre||Dates||Function and quality||Label|
|Pieter Oud||1886-1968||Statesman and historian||VVD|
|Gerard van Walsum||1900-1980||Former mayors of Delft between 1948 and 1952||PvdA|
|Wim Thomassen||1909-2001||Former mayor of Zaandam, then Enschede||PvdA|
|André van der Louw||1933-2005||Minister of Culture, Recreation and Social Work from 1981 to 1982 in the Van Agt II cabinet||PvdA|
|Bram Peper||1940||University, Minister of Home Affairs and Relations in the Kingdom of the Netherlands between 1998 and 2000||PvdA|
|Ivo Opstelten||1944||Minister of Justice and Security from 2010 to 2015||VVD|
|in-service||Ahmed Aboutaleb||Professional Engineer, Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Employment in 2007 and 2008||PvdA|
The Rotterdam municipal council has 45 seats. The following table shows the results of the Rotterdam communal elections since 1998:
|Christian Democrat appeal||6||5||1||1||1||2|
|Liberal and Democratic People's Party||9||4||1||4||1||5|
|Christian Union-Reformed Political Party||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Rotterdam City Party||2||1||0||-||-||-|
(including Denk 4)
Collège du bourgmestre et des échevins from 2018 to 2022
Blind of the Interior, Public Order and Security
|Failure of Mobility and Youth||Judith Bokhove||GL|
|Environmental failure||Arno Bonte||GL|
|Enforcement, Integration and Recreation||Bert Wijbenga||VVD|
|Removal of Housing and Land Management||Bas Kurvers||VVD|
|Erection of the Economy, Neighborhoods and Urban Policy||Barbara Kathmann||PvdA|
|Labor and Income Avoidance||Richard Moti||PvdA|
|Failing Finance, Budget, and Port||Adriaan Visser||D66|
|Failure of Education, Culture and Tourism||Said Kasmi||D66|
|Health, Family and Sports||Sven de Langen||CDA|
|Poverty, Debt Management and Care||Michiel Grauss||CU-SGP|
Since 2014, the municipality of Rotterdam has been composed of 14 districts, governed by a district commission. Less politicized than the board of directors since their members should not be part of a political party, these commissions are "the eyes and ears" of the neighborhoods. The following table presents the 14 Rotterdam boroughs defined in 2014, as well as the districts or districts that make up them:
|Center||Cool (including the southern districts of Dijkzigt, the Park, Scheepvaart or Nieuwe Werk), Oude Westen, Stadsdriehoek (including the Old Port and the central station district).|
|Charlois||Carnisse, Charlois Zuidrand, Heijplaat, Oud-Charlois, Pendrecht, Tarwewijk, Wielewaal, Zuidplein and Zuidwijk.|
|Delfshaven||Bospolder, Delfshaven, Middelland, Nieuwe Westen, Oud Mathenesse, Schiemond, Spangen and Tussendijken.|
|Feijenoord||Afrikaanderwijk, Bloemhof, Feijenoord, Hillesluis, Katendrecht, Kop van Zuid/Entrepotgebied, Noordereiland and Vreewijk.|
|Hillegersberg-Schiebroek||Hillegersberg-Noord (including 110-Morgen and the old Hillegersberg), Hillegersberg-Zuid (including the Kleiweg), Molenlaankwartier, Schiebroek and Terbregge.|
|Hoek van Holland||The beach and the dunes, the Porte du Rhin (Rijnpoort) and the village.|
|Hoogvliet||Boomgaardshoek, Meeuwenplaat, Centrum/Middengebied, Nieuw Engeland/Digna Johannapolder, Westpunt, Zalmplaat, Oudeland and Tussenwater.|
|IJsselmonde||Beverwaard, Groot-IJsselmonde (which contains the districts Beverwaard, De Veranda, Groenenhagen-Tuinenhoven, Hordijkerveld, Kreekhuizen, Lombardijen, Oud-IJsselmonde, Reyeroord, Sportdorp, Zomerland), Lombardijen Oud IJsselmonde|
|Kralingen-Crooswijk||De Esch, Kralingen-Oost, Kralingen-West, Kralingse Bos, Nieuw Crooswijk, Oud Crooswijk, Rubroek en Struisenbrug.|
|Noord||Agniesebuurt, Bergpolder, Blijdorp, Het Oude Noorden, Liskwartier, and Provenierswijk.|
|Overschy||Kleinpolder, Landzicht, Noord Kethel (including Kandelaar), Overschie, Zestienhoven.|
|Pernis||The neighborhood of the same name.|
|Alexander Prins||Het Lage Land, Kralingseveer, Nesselande, Ommoord, Oosterflank, Prinsenland, Zevenkamp.|
|Rozenburg||The neighborhood of the same name.|
European and international partnerships
The American city of Rotterdam, New York, created in 1820, owes its name to the Dutch city, whose motto is translated into English, "Stronger Through Effort", "Stronger Through Effort."
In 2015, the town has 14 twin towns, 12 partner cities and 4 twin ports.
Rotterdam ceased to establish new twinning in 2008. In 2017, Istanbul denounces the twinning between the two cities.
| || || |
| || || |
- Busan (South Korea) since 1987
- Kobe (Japan) since 1967
- Seattle, USA since 1969
- Tokyo (Japan) since 1989
Economy and International Influence
Until the end of the seventeenth century, Rotterdam was a place of commerce and exchange thanks to its large weekly market taking place on the Maasdijk (later the Hoogstraat). However, it is not yet a major city. The main trade is the sale of herring by fishermen. This changed after the fall of Antwerp in 1585. In half a century, Rotterdam became the country's second largest city for its ports and "whistled goods" ("wijtwermaerde koopstadt"). International trade in wine becomes its primary source of income. The goods are exported to France, Spain and Portugal, but also to the Dutch East Indies, and then to the whole world after the journey of Olivier van Noort who is the first Dutch to travel around the world. The wealthiest merchants build large houses in the port areas and the port is expanding. The market square is enlarged, from Hoofstraat to Binnenrotte. It is located along the docks and many boats come to unload the goods. Shops are growing in number and importance.
During the Napoleonic period, however, the city's prosperity was affected by the effects of the continental blockade and protectionist laws that favored French trade at the expense of Dutch trade. The Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) was established in 1803 to represent the elite of the Romanian trading community and to advise the government on economic issues.
During the 19th century, the city's walls and gates were demolished to allow for its extension and improve the means of transport. In the harbor, the Nieuwe Waterweg Waterway was built in 1872 and greatly facilitates the movement of vessels between the North Sea and the city center. At the end of the 19th century, Rotterdam was an important market for grains, ores and fats. Large department stores established as De Bijenkorf in 1930. Small shops survive hard and merchant cooperatives set up such as Spar (sale) and Enkabé (purchase).
During the Second World War, Dutch economic and commercial life was severely affected. It was not until after the war that trade resumed. The Lijnbaan pedestrian lane helps to restore the city's commercial image. In 1958, the city market was reopened on the Binnenrotte. After an economic recession during the last two decades of the twentieth century, a further expansion of port activities, industry, and then tourism, helped restore the city's commercial prosperity in the early 2000s.
By the late sixteenth century, trade had become so important that a stock exchange became necessary. The merchants of Antwerp, Hans der Veeken and Jacques L'Hermite, agreed to recreate in Rotterdam the system that was in place in Antwerp. Merchandise samples are displayed and customers sell and buy the presented goods. The price of the food on display is thus established on the stock exchange. Cereals are processed through intermediaries to prevent them from being exposed to bad weather. In 1635, the first lending bank in Rotterdam opened.
The stock exchange building dates back to 1635, and its condition is deteriorating. The construction of a new building was also started in 1717 by Adriaen van der Werff. The new stock exchange opened in 1736 and the new building became a symbol of the city's prosperity. The first insurance company, Maatschappij voor Assurantie, Discontering en Beleening der Stad Rotterdam, established in 1720, still exists.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, professional cashiers took over the exchange of currencies, thus playing an important role in the economy, notably R. Mees and sons, Gebroeders Chabot, and Ian Havelaar and sons.
During the Middle Ages, many Rotterdamois worked in the wool industry and breweries. During the seventeenth century, the companies benefited from the proximity of the New Meuse and the water of the canals, as well as the purity of the river water used to brew beer. The industrial means were adopted early by the Rotterdamois. For example, the first steam engine, imported from England where it was bought from James Watt, was installed in the polder of Blijdorp in 1787. In the food and beverage manufacturing industries, steam machines are quickly adopted to increase production. In the mid-19th century, the industry grew with the expansion of the port. After World War II, the industry quickly recovered from crises and wars, thanks to the petrochemical industry. While many small businesses do not survive the war, the city is taking new steps by investing outside the city center to develop industries along the New Meuse, between the city center and its mouth on the North Sea. The Botlek port areas, then the Europoort and finally the Maasvlakte and Maasvlakte 2 are built: the petrochemical industry is growing very quickly. Refineries are installed as well as numerous facilities for chemical products (plastic, fertilizer, soap). These heavily polluting industries must moderate the harm they produce, as the demands of governments in this regard increase.
The port of Rotterdam is a collection of basins, waterways and harbor areas that extend from the center of Rotterdam to the mouth of the North Sea in Hoek van Holland. The port enjoys a strategic commercial location, described according to models such as the European megalopolis, the Ring or the capital center: close to England by sea; close to several European industrial and commercial cities accessible by the rivers or canals of the Meuse and the Rhine, in particular the German region of the Ruhr (accessible by boat and train).
The extension of the port has been gradual from east to west. Between 1870 and 1880, the Binnenhaven, Sporweghaven, Koningshaven inland ports were built near the city and on the south shore. In 1898, it was the beginning of the development of the Maashaven, which was inaugurated in 1905, on the south bank. Around 1900, on the north shore, three port basins, Parkhaven, Sint Jobshaven and Schiehaven were built. During the First World War, IJsselhaven, Lekhaven, Koushaven and Keilehaven were created on the north shore. The Merwehaven, located between Rotterdam and Schiedam, was completed in 1920. Finally, in 1931, the Waalhaven was built. The most recent extensions of the port of Rotterdam are Maasvlaakte 1 and Maasvlaakte 2, which was completed in 2013.
In 2016, the port of Rotterdam is the first port in Europe; long the world's leading port, it is now 9th in the world, behind chinese and singapore ports. It extends over a length of 42 km and over a surface of 12,643ha. It processes a total of 461 million tons of goods. The Rotterdam Port Authority employs 1,100 people and port activities employ 175,000 people. During the year, 29,022 ships passed through the port towards the sea, and 105,000 ships went through the inland waters.
The urban tourism sector is expanding in Rotterdam. The city has assets in the field of architecture. She made the choice after the war not to rebuild the destroyed neighborhoods identically, but called on contemporary architects to redesign the city. Also, the urban landscape has many buildings, office skyscrapers, contemporary museums, sculptures in the middle of the city. The city organizes a number of events, cultural festivals and sporting events, including the international film festival, the Rotterdam marathon, or the summer carnival. For example, in 2016, more than 1.6 million tourists were registered in the city's hotels. The traffic to the Rotterdam-The Hague Airport was approximately 824,000 travelers. 54% of tourists are Dutch, with international tourism coming from the UK (7%), Germany (7%) and Belgium (6%).
Paid attractions that attracted the most tourists in 2016 are the Bijdorp Zoo, Spido cruises, Euromast Tower, Plaswijckpark amusement park and the SS Rotterdam tours.
Since the 2010s, the city has had a place in international tourist guides: the New York Times in 2014, the Rough Guide in 2014, the Guardian in 2014, Lonely Planet in 2016.
Architecture and town planning
The German bombings of 14 May 1940 and the fires they caused destroyed the entire city center of Rotterdam. Few historic buildings are spared. So a major reconstruction begins. Various renowned architects, Dutch or other countries, will be asked for, making the architecture of the city eclectic, modern and attractive for lovers of modern architecture.
In , Rotterdam received the first prize in the Urbanism Awards, awarded by the Academy of Urbanism for the year 2015.
In 2017, of all the buildings, sites and open-air works listed in the city, 619 are listed as national monuments, 415 are listed as a communal monument ("Monument Gemeente") and one building, the Van Nelle factory, is listed as a world heritage site.
The St. Lawrence Church (Laurenskerk), badly damaged by the 1940 bombings, was rebuilt. Built in 1449, in Brabançon Gothic style, it is the oldest building in Rotterdam. The Schielandshuis, located towards the central Coolsingel avenue, and spared from the bombings, houses the archives. The Witte Huis was also spared: this building, built in 1898, was the tallest tower in Europe when it was built, 45 m high. Finally, the adjacent buildings of the Town Hall and the Post Office, dating back to the 1920s, were not hit by the bombing.
Far from the city center, early 20th century buildings, representative of the Neues Bauen architectural movement, remained intact. The Van Nelle factory, designed by Dutch architects Johannes Brinkman and Leendert Van der Vlugt, has become a symbol of this movement. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
Rotterdam after the bombing (St Laurent Church and Witte Huis).
Delfshaven Houses, not bombed in 1940.
Former main post.
Reconstruction and modernity
The first post-war buildings, resolutely modern, are Lijnbaan street (the first fully pedestrian shopping street in the Netherlands), built by architects Johannes Hendrik van den Broek and Jacob Bakema, the concert halls of the Doelen, the Groot Handelsgebouw office complex, next to the central station, the Euromast Tower (1958) 1960), the Bijenkorf shopping center and the Hilton hotel.
Lijnbaan shopping street.
Large Doelen room.
Interior view of the Groothandelsgebouw complex.
The Bijenkorf store.
In the 1970s, construction continued with the cubic houses of Piet Blom (1984), associated with the tower of Blaak, nicknamed "the Pencil". The construction of the skyscrapers is accelerating and the profile of the city is changing. The Erasmus Bridge allows the development of the Kop van Zuid neighborhood, located on the south bank of the New Meuse, where the New York hotel, former headquarters of the Holland America Line company, was located and the departure point for the great transatlantic cruises.
Several buildings reveal the modern appearance of Rotterdam in the 1990s and 2000s. In 2014, the central station, entirely rebuilt, was inaugurated by King Willem-Alexander, replacing the old buildings of 1957. Its construction lasted more than nine years and cost €633 million. The Markthal, a futuristic covered market that combines houses, restaurants and markets, is designed as an inverted arc of circle. Its ceiling, executed by Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, is sometimes dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam".
The municipality continues the development of the city, supporting original architectural projects. The Dutch Windwheel project, a 170-m-high building housing offices and housing units in the shape of rings, is one of these ambitious architectural projects in preparation, whose construction is due to begin in 2020.
The Erasmus Bridge (1996).
Rotterdam-Central station (2014).
Markthal covered market (2014).
Inside the Markthal.
Skyscrapers and records
As early as 1898, Rotterdam hosted one of Europe's tallest skyscrapers, the Witte Huis. From then on, skyscrapers continue to be built and the urban landscape is constantly changing. The Gebouw Delftse Poort has dominated the urban landscape since its construction in 1991 and remained the country's highest building until 2005. It remains the 4th highest building in the city with its 151 m high.
In 2017, fifteen skyscrapers exceed 100 m high. The Maastoren are the highest buildings in the Netherlands. The New Orleans Tower is the highest residential building in the country. The Montevideo Tower was the highest in the country when it was built. Located on Kop de Zuid, close to the New York hotel, it measures 400 feet. It now holds third place in the highest towers.
The De Rotterdam building, designed by architect Rem Koolhaas and completed in 2013, is the largest building in the country in size, with a total interior area of 160,000 m2.
The plans of the municipality foresee the construction of future skyscrapers even higher, in particular the Zalmhaventoren, near the Erasmus bridge, planned to measure 215 m and whose construction is scheduled to end in 2020.
Several large parks decorate the city. Zuiderpark is the largest green area in the city, but also the largest urban green area in the Netherlands.
The forest of Kralingen (Kralingse Bos) offers the city a large space around about 250 to 300ha. It surrounds the Kralingen lake (Kralingse Plas). It has a small beach, cycle paths and pedestrian tracks going around the lake, a children's farm (kinderborderij) and playgrounds and an adjunct course.
Het Park (in English, "the park"), on the banks of the Parkhaven, is the departure point for nautical cruises on the New Meuse. This park is dominated by the Euromast Tower and is animated by various summer music festivals, including the romantic music festival.
The Trompenburg arboretum is one of the city's museums.
The Vroesenpark is also an urban park, located in the Blijdorp district. It attracts joggers and sportsmen and has outdoor play areas for children; barbecue is allowed here and the park is particularly popular with picnic walkers. The Rotterdam Zoo, located nearby, also offers a very large green area to the city.
Kralingen Forest and Lake.
Arboretum of Trompenburg.
Two natural sites belonging to the Natura 2000 network are listed on the communal territory: the "Sollveleld and Kapitel duinen" (Solleveld & Kapittelduinen) and the "Hoek van Holland".
The Solleveld & Kapittelduinen natural site, listed on , extends over an area of 720ha shared with the municipalities of Westland and The Hague. The natural landscapes of this site are mainly marked by the presence of dunes. These dune landscapes mainly consist of two species of floral essences: Jacobaea vulgaris and the Common Troene (or Ligustrum vulgare); and several herbaceous species, including the Oyat; Calluno-Ulicetea (a kind of common jonc) and the Argousier (Hippophaë rhamnoides). The site includes habitats for 4 species of bats: Plecotus auritus (or Red Oreillard), Myotis mystacinus (or Mustache Murin), Pipistrellus pipistrellus (or Common Pipistrelle) and finally Myotis dasycneme (or Marsh Murin).
The communal territory is home to several species of amphibians (5 taxa), reptiles (2 taxa) and mammals (44 taxa), but also 45 fish species, such as the Atlantic Salmon or Cobitis taenia, an indigenous fish from the waters of Rotterdam.
Vegetation on the dunes of Hoek van Holland.
Rotterdam owes its rise to the proximity of the water, that of the different streams that water it and that of the North Sea. But its proximity also makes it highly vulnerable to floods and climate change and their effects on the rise of rivers and oceans.
The city must protect itself from flooding risks, while ensuring the quality of its water. The consequences of global warming — rising sea levels, more frequent and abundant rainfall — and land subsidence and urbanization increase the risk of flooding. The city uses several strategies organized in the Waterplan2 communal plan set up since 2007 in partnership with the regional water authorities. The plan is based on the system developed by Willem Nicolaas Rose in 1854. Rose designed a plan that benefited both urban hygiene and the spatial layout of the city. The plan established a network of pumping stations, locks, dykes and 30 kilometers of canals (singles).
Water management of canals and rivers
Historically, dams and dams protected the city from the rise of the New Meuse, and the surrounding polders allowed the drainage of pastures through canals and windmills that drain water to lower regions. The protection and strengthening of dykes remains a constant concern. The windmills have practically disappeared from the city and are being replaced by electric pumping systems.
First urban water control project by architect Rose (1854).
Locks and pumping station of Parkhaven, views of the Euromast Tower located in Het Park.
Bozen pumping station on Boezemsingel avenue.
Boezem pumping station on Oostplein square.
Underground water storage systems and sewer renovation (GPR) offer solutions on the outskirts of the city, while in the city center, other solutions are studied such as water squares or green roofs.
The city encourages green roofs to allow better regulation of rainwater during heavy rainfall; a square meter of green roof holds between 15 and 25 liters of water. In 2017, the city is 235,000 m2.
Bellamyplein is the first waterplein (water square or water square) in the Netherlands. Located in Spangen, a cobbled neighborhood with few channels to clear rainwater, it offers a playground for children in dry weather. When the rainfall is high, space is provided to fill up with rainwater.
In the Noord district, Benthemplein is the city's second water spot. It was built in 2013 to also serve this dual objective of playground and reservoir. The square serves as a playground for neighboring schools (skate track, basketball court) in dry weather. These spaces, built in depth, collect rainwater from the surrounding fields (parking, roofs) when the precipitation becomes very heavy. The development of this square can collect 1.7 million liters of water. Pumps drain this water to the river. This structure is the second in the world when it opened. In 2017, the city had a third place of water, the Kleinpolderplein.
Regional and national plans
Rotterdam depends on three regional water offices (Hoogheemraadschap): the Delfland Water Board (number 12 on the map opposite, north of the port), the Schieland Water Board and Krimpenerwaard (number 13, city center and east of the city) and the Holland Delta Water Board (15, south of the city and port).
At the national level, the Delta Plan provides protection for the country and the areas most at risk. The plan was adopted by a law passed in 1957.
At the local and regional level, the same water defense program, supplemented by the Europoortkering, a plan initiated in 1987, enabled the construction of two works of art between 1991 and 1997: the Maeslantkering, a 210 m long mobile double-wing dam on the Nieuwe Waterweg; and the Hartelkering, a 98 m mobile dyke in maximum extension, crossing the Hartel Canal.
Risks of Global Warming
Two global warming risk observation centers, the Global Center of Excellence on Climate Adaptation and the VN-klimaatcentrum naar Rotterdam en Groningen, which are affiliated with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, have recently been set up and several projects to mitigate these risks, including the Rotterdam Waterstad 2035, have been launched place.
The city of Rotterdam has a large number of spaces dedicated to art and culture. Many of its museums have national or international fame, including the Boijmans Van Beuningen Painting and Fine Arts Museum. A significant number of statues commemorate elements of national history or brighten streets and squares. Particular importance is given to contemporary art, undoubtedly accentuated by the unique history of this metropolis whose historic center was partly destroyed in 1940. The city also has a number of theaters and concert halls.
The site of the museum park gathers six museums in the heart of the city. The most famous, the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, a museum of painting and fine arts opened in 1849, has been installed there since 1935.
The city has two historical museums, the Schielandshuis, the first site of the Boijmans museum in 1849, holds the collection of engravings of the Atlas Van Stolk and the municipal archives, and the Rotterdam museum presents the history of the city on two sites.
Finally, the presence of several museums dedicated to the sea, notably the Maritiem Museum, recalls the unique place of the sea and port life in the history and construction of the city.
In 2016, the museums of Rotterdam attract 1,130,000 visitors. The most visited museums are, in descending order of the number of visitors: the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, followed by the Kunsthal museum of contemporary art, by Het Nieuwe Instituut, dedicated to architecture, and the national museum of photography.
Monuments and statues
The city of Rotterdam has many statues, historic and contemporary. Some statues highlight iconic figures from Dutch history, such as Erasmus (1622), in front of the Saint-Laurent church or Hugo Grotius, in front of the town hall. Several statues or monuments recall elements of the city's history, such as the Slavernijmonument in the port district of Delfshaven, Zadkin's monument in 1940 Square (Plein 1940), which depicts a man with a torn heart or the monument of Hubert van Lith, Ongebroken verzet (relentless resistance), commemorating the resistance of Rotterdam during the Second World War. Place Loods 24, on the south bank of the Meuse, commemorates the departure of the 6,790 people deported during the war. In 2013, a monument to the 686 Jewish children who died in deportation, the Joods Kindermonument, was installed near the commemorative wall of Loods 24.
The Rotterdaman museums have compiled a list of about 60 artistic works of the city, the International Beelden Collective (IBC). Many of them can be seen on the statuary trail (Beeldenroute Westersingel). The museum park exhibits a number of them.
Music and dance
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1918. This is a local orchestra. The conductor Eduard Flipse, who ran the ensemble from 1930 to 1962, gradually transformed it into a renowned orchestra. The orchestra is then directed by Edo de Waart (1967-1979), then by David Zinman (1979-1982). It has been run since 2008 by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who makes his last season.
Since 1966, he has been in residence at the De Doelen concert hall. Since 2010, he has also been a guest orchestra at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Between the concerts in Rotterdam and the concerts outside, the educational and school programs, its audience is between 150,000 and 200,000 listeners per year. The orchestra is under contract for concert recordings with Deutsche Grammophon and BIS Records, and has created its own label, Rotterdam Philharmonic Vintage Recordings, for the broadcast of its own historical recordings.
The dance company Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, led by Dutch choreographer Ed Wubbe, enjoys a certain reputation. In 2016, she celebrated 70 years of her existence.
Rotterdam is the birthplace of gabber music. In the early 1990s, artists such as Paul Elstak and Rob Janssen introduced the Parkzicht nightclub to a more "hard" sound within the house scene. It was the beginning of the hardcore house, which was one of the identity elements of Gabber culture. Several musical groups refer explicitly to Rotterdam in their name: Rotterdam Terror Corps, Rotterdam Termination Source. The now demolished Energiehal hosted major events, including the A Nightmare in Rotterdam festival.
Rotterdam has many theaters, concert halls, cinemas and other theaters. The De Doelen Concert Hall and the Rotterdam Theater (Rotterdamse Schouwburg) are located in the central district, around the theater square and close to a complex of Pathé cinemas. The Luxor Theater is located in the heart of the Kop van Zuid district. The Ahoy Convention Center hosts large-scale sporting and cultural events. The WORM is a multidisciplinary venue, including a cinema and concert hall.
Annual events and festivals
The North Sea Jazz Festival is the indoor jazz festival. It welcomed 70,000 spectators in 2017 and is considered one of the most important jazz events by Time. Rotterdam Unlimited is a five-day festival that takes place at the end of July, bringing together artists from the world of music, dance, and narrative, as well as the summer carnival parade, the zomercarnival. Other musical festivals are organized, including the Romantic Music Day (Romantische muziek dag) in August. The REC festival started in 2016 and continues in 2017, and corresponds to the presentation of the MTV Awards. The festival lasts 5 days (in 2017) and several types of music are played here: disco, soul, afrobeat, techno, hip-hop and RnB.
The Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) is one of the most important film festivals in terms of audience. It takes place during the last week of January. For twelve days, hundreds of films are presented by their directors and artists in the city's movie theaters.
The World Port Days (Wereldhavendagen) are held on the first weekend of September. Created in 1976, the event grew and lasts for three days.
Numerous international congresses take place in the city. Three Esperanto World Congresses were held in Rotterdam in 1967, 1988 and 2008, bringing together between 1,300 and 2,300 participants from some sixty countries. The themes of the last two congresses were "Science and Technology for International Understanding" and "Languages: a treasure of mankind". The 2008 congress was the occasion to celebrate the one hundred years of the Esperanto World Association, headquartered in Rotterdam. The 25th International Vexillology Congress was also held in Rotterdam in 2013.
Population and society
Rotterdam became a metropolis at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The city's first demographic data are derived from parish registers. In 1622, its population reached 19,780 inhabitants. The population increase is rapidly growing, with a population of more than 45,000 more than doubled in 1675. Then, towards the end of the seventeenth century, in 1690, it increased to about 51,000 residents. In the first half of the eighteenth century, the municipality experienced a demographic decline which brought the population back to about 44,000 in 1745. In the second half of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the population of Rotterdam increased to 57,510 inhabitants in 1795 and 59,118 inhabitants in 1809.
The city's population grew sharply between 1880 and 1920, from 105,000 to 500,000. In 2017, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam, for the number of inhabitants. Its rate of increase is 3.1% between 2011 and 2017. As of , 46.1 per cent of households are single-person, couples without children account for nearly 21 per cent (13 per cent of married and 7.9 per cent of unmarried couples), households with children account for just over 33 per cent (4.3 per cent of unmarried couples), 14% married couples and 10.6% single parent families), and 2.6% of those in institutions. As of , according to figures from the central statistical office, the city has a population of 634,253. In addition, at the same date, the population of the Rotterdam urban area was 1,424,662.
Pyramid of the ages
For the 2013 fiscal year, given its demographic statistics, the city's population is generally younger than that of South Holland and the Netherlands as a whole. According to the central statistical office, this trend continues until 2030.
Origin of the inhabitants
Rotterdam is a multicultural city, of which almost half the population is of foreign origin. The following table presents the distribution of the population of Rotterdam by origin of its inhabitants and its evolution between 2000 and 2016:
|Origin||Percentage in 2000||Percentage in 2016|
|Netherlands Antilles and Aruba||2.63||3.8|
Primary and secondary education
In 2014, the municipality of Rotterdam had a total of 81,543 pupils from 4 to 22 years, of whom 6,436 were between 4 and 12 years, 31,853 from 13 to 17 years and 43,254 from 8 to 222 years. The schools of Rotterdam are part of the school complex of the urban region of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam has 237 primary schools in 2016.
The municipality of Rotterdam has 78 secondary schools (in 2016), and the urban area of Rotterdam has 116 secondary schools. The Dutch Central Statistics Office records a total of 51,842 pupils in ordinary secondary education, 953 in specialized education and 4209 in specialized schools in the urban area of Rotterdam. Among the secondary schools offering technical courses is the transport and navigation school of the STC group offering secondary and higher training (masters and management training).
The Dutch education system offers several higher education courses. The research universities, or WO, also prepare for the first years and master's degrees, and offer doctoral programs; their teachers are professors and researchers. Universities of applied studies, called Hogeschool or HBO, prepare for higher degrees ranging from the first years of university to the master's degree, but do not offer a third degree. A third type of institution offers international diplomas (in English) or shorter or specific courses.
Rotterdam has a research university. The Erasmus University in Rotterdam (in Dutch, Erasmus University Rotterdam) welcomes approximately 28,000 students and 3,600 employees (2016 figures). His medical department is linked to the largest university-hospital center, the Erasmus Medical Center. Founded in 1913, it has gained international fame. Among her researchers are Jan Tinbergen, the first Nobel laureate in economics. At the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, it ranks overall at 72th (2018) in the world's universities (among the top 2%); his faculty of medicine is 42th in the world (2017).
Rotterdam has a number of specialized higher education institutions that provide training and diplomas:
- the Hogeschool Rotterdam, to which is attached the Willem Academy of Fine Arts of Kooning, created in 1771 and named after the Rutterdaman painter who is close to the De Stijl movement;
- the Hogeschool Codarts, which brings together several artistic departments: a dance school, music conservatory and circus school;
- the Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst, school of architecture;
- EuroCollege Hogeschool, private business school;
- Hogeschool Inholland, a private university;
- Hogeschool Tio, a school of hotels, tourism and commerce;
- the Koninklijke Auris Groep, institute for research and education of the deaf and hard of hearing;
- Finally, the Thomas More Hogeschool, an institute for training primary school teachers.
Rotterdam hosts several hospitals (in Dutch Gasthuis or Ziekenhuis) and polyclinics. Several of them have consolidated their administrations and coordinated the different medical specialties.
The Erasmus Medical Center (Erasmus™) is the Rotterdam University Hospital, and the largest hospital in the city and region. Since 2002, it has been home to several previously independent hospitals: the general hospital Dijkzigt located in the district of the center Dijkzigt, the Sophia Kinderziekenhuis, children's hospital, also located in that district; the cancer center Daniel den Hoed, which took the name of Kanker Instituut Erasmus MC in 2013, and whose buildings are located in the Feijenoord borough in the south of the city; and the Faculty of Medicine and Science at Erasmus University, which includes some forty research departments.
Several other hospitals are located in Rotterdam, whose teams work in collaboration with the Erasmus Medical Center.
The Franciscus Gasthuis Hospital, founded in 1892 by Franciscans, and the Vlietland Hospital, located in the neighboring town of Schiedam, merged in 2015 to form a single hospital group called Franciscus Gasthuis & Vlietland. This administration comprises the buildings of the two Franciscus and Vlietland hospitals, three polyclinics located in the surrounding communes (Franciscus Berkel, Franciscus Hoogvliet, Franciscus Maassluis), a polyclinic at the ophthalmological hospital in Rotterdam, Het Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam, and a polyclinic in Rotterdam the hospital in the port, Havenziekenhuis, already mentioned.
The Ikazia Hospital is located in the southern district of the city.
The IJsselland Ziekenhuis Hospital was founded by the merger of two hospitals, Rotterdam Bergweg and Eudokia, in 1991. Its buildings are located in Capelle aan den IJssel, east of Rotterdam, and the center has two polyclinics located respectively in Rotterdam Nesselande and Krimpen aan den IJssel.
The Maasstad Ziekenhuis is also an administrative grouping in 2000 of two previously independent hospitals: the Zuiderziekenhuis and the Clara ziekenhuis. The new unit first became the Medisch Centrum Rijnmond-Zuid (MCRZ), before becoming the Maastad hospital in 2008.
In the city center, on the banks of the New Meuse, the Havenziekenhuis, a port hospital founded in 1927 to treat sailors and specialized in tropical medicine, takes the name of Havenpolikliniek Rotterdam on . Several medical services in the other hospitals in the city have facilities.
The ophthalmic hospital, Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam, was founded in 1874 by the ophthalmologist J.H. de Haas; its buildings, as well as those of a second ophthalmic hospital, were destroyed during the war and then rebuilt: when it reopened in 1948, it was the largest ophthalmic hospital in the country.
Religions and cults
The presence of many foreign religious communities in Rotterdam, as early as the sixteenth century, is an effect of its port function.
Engraving of the Saint Lawrence Church (17th century).
Remonster church, Westersingel.
Synagogue des Boompjes in 1917.
ABN Davidsplein Synagogue in Rotterdam (2017).
Current Walloon Church.
Church of the Pilgrims, Delfshaven.
Catholic Church, Schietbaanstraat.
The city already had about ten foreign Protestant communities, including Presbyterians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Mennonite Anabaptists. Several Protestant Dutch denominations exist, the main ones are monsters and reformed. The Protestant Church in the Netherlands was created in 2004, by the reunion of three Reformed and Lutheran Churches: the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, founded in 1892, and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of the Netherlands, founded in 1818. The city's main Protestant cultural building is the Saint Lawrence Church. The Zuiderkerk and Westerkerk were destroyed during the bombing of 1940 and were not rebuilt, replaced by the Pauluskerk, located at 20, Mauritsweg. A Walloon church (Waalse Kerk), established since 1591, first Hoogstraat from 1657 to 1922, then in a new building, inaugurated on on its current site of Schiedamsesingel — at 1 Pierre Baylestraat —, offers cults and activities in French.
A schism within the Catholic Church in the eighteenth century divided Dutch Catholics into two groups, the Roman Catholic Church and the Old Catholic Church, which did not recognize the authority of Rome. Several Catholic churches were destroyed during the bombing of 1940, including St. Ignatiuskerk, Bosjeskerk or St. Rosaliakerk. Currently, the HH church. Laurentius- in Elisabethkathedraal serves as a Catholic cathedral. The Paradijskerk church is the place of worship for the Old Catholics.
Portuguese Jewish traders obtained authorization in 1610 to open a place of worship in Rotterdam. As early as 1612, this right was questioned by the Protestant Church and some members of the Sephardic Jewish community were exiled in Amsterdam, while others had an underground place of worship, in an attic and buried their dead in a vanished cemetery at the current location of Jan van Loonlaan. A second wave of Portuguese Jewish immigration arrived in 1647, when the Jewish community obtained the right to worship and built a first synagogue, at the corner of Wijnhaven and Bierstraat Street. New cemeteries are being built in Crooswijk. The Sephardic community declines, and one of the cemeteries is attributed to the Ashkenazi community, originally from Germany and Poland, which grew in importance from 1650. A new Ashkenazi synagogue was built on Boompjes Avenue and was dedicated in 1725. At the end of the 18th century, the city's Jewish community had 2,500 members, mostly traders and tailors. In 1796, they gained full civil rights and access to various professions. The arrival of newcomers reached its highest level at the beginning of the twentieth century, then it resumed strongly in the 1930s, with an influx of German refugees fleeing Nazism. In 1930, Rotterdam had a population of about 10,000 Jews. The government set up a temporary shelter camp in Hoek van Holland. The bombing of Rotterdam in destroyed the two synagogues in the city center. Then the Jews of Rotterdam were subjected to the same discriminatory measures as everywhere in Europe, and Jewish children were expelled from schools in 1941. The first deportations to the Nazi extermination camps began in , including 686 children. Only 13% of the Jewish population survived camps or underground. In 1998, the Jewish community of Rotterdam had 246 members.
The communal territory has four mosques: the Essalamm mosque, a 25 m high building, opened in 2010; the Mevalan mosque, built in 2001 for the Turkish Muslim community; the Anadolu mosque, opened in 1983 and located in the Feijenoord district; and finally the Kocatepe mosque, inaugurated in 1996 in the southern part of the city.
Rotterdam is the headquarters of several newspapers or print magazines.
Many newspapers had their editors on Witte de Withstraat street in the center of Rotterdam, making it worth that street having been compared to Fleet Street. Among the most iconic newsrooms on this street are Het Vrije Volk, a Democratic social affinity journal Voorwaarts's post-war successor. It was one of the most important newspapers in the country in the 1950s and 1960s, before merging with the Rotterdams Nieuwsblad to form the Rotterdams Dagblad in 1991. The latter is integrated in 2005 in the national daily Algemeen Dagblad (AD), which has been headquartered since 2012 next to Rotterdam Central Station.
The national daily NRC Handelsblad was created by the merger in 1970 of the Romanian newspaper Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant and of an Amsterdam newspaper, the Algemeen Handelsblad. Its drafting was in Rotterdam from 1970 to 2012.
A regional daily newspaper, the AD Rotterdams Dagblad, covers the news from the region. The free newspaper De Havensloods covers three boroughs of Rotterdam (Alexander, North and South). The free newspaper De Oud-Rotterdamer is aimed at Rotterdamans over the age of 50.
Local and regional radios
The public regional channel of the Rotterdam and Rijnmond region is Radio Rijnmond (managed by RTV Rijnmond). Other private radios broadcast over the air, including NPO FunX Rotterdam, Open Rotterdam, RadioNL Zuid-Holland, Radio Decibel Zuid-Holland, Amor FM, Radio 538, Radio 10. Some are broadcast by cable, including Fresh FM (music and dance) and for NL (Dutch music and songs). Radio stations broadcast from Hoogvliet are intended for harbor news, including Havenstad Radio and Wereldstad Radio.
The regional TV channels are Rijnmond TV, OPEN Rotterdam and Rotterdam Podium (which is a second OPEN Rotterdam channel).
Rotterdam has several amateur football clubs and three professional football clubs. The best known is the Feyenoord, founded in 1908 in the borough of Rotterdam, a club participating in the Eredivisie since its inaugural season in 1956, and the first Dutch club to win the European Cup of Champions Clubs in 1970. It is one of the three major clubs in the country with Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven. The other two Rotterdamois clubs are the Sparta and the Excelsior.
In other sports, VOC cricket clubs and Neptunus baseball clubs are among the historically dominant clubs in the Netherlands in their respective sports. HC Rotterdam in field hockey is one of the largest clubs in the Netherlands in terms of membership. Rugby league is represented by the Pitbuls club, which is competing in the championship organized by the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond.
|Feyenoord Rotterdam||Football||Erediviso||De Kuip||1908|
|Excelsior Rotterdam||Football||Eerste Divisie||Stadion Woudestein||1902|
|Sparta Rotterdam||Football||Erediviso||Het Kasteel||1888|
|Sports Rotterdam Challenge||Basketball||Erediviso||Topsport Centrum Rotterdam||1954|
|VC Nesselande Rotterdam||Volleyball||Erediviso||Topsport Centrum Rotterdam||1964|
|HC Rotterdam||Field hockey||Erediviso||Sportpark Hazelaarweg||1925|
|Rotterdam Pitbulls||Rugby league||NRLB Competetie||2014|
International sports events
The Rotterdam Marathon, created in 1981, takes place every April.
An international baseball tournament, World Port Tournament, takes place in the Ahoy Rotterdam gym. It is organized and disputed in summer, since the city is renowned for the prestigious Neptunus club with several European priests.
Rotterdam organizes an annual 500 Series tennis tournament in February. Cycling is also one of the popular sports. In the category of six-day cycling races, the six-day Rotterdam race is organized at the Ahoy Rotterdam indoor exhibition center. The city also hosted the Tour de France 2010 prolog.
Rotterdam organized world rhythmic gymnastics championships in 1973, artistic gymnastics in 1987, 2010, judo in 2009, female squash and male squash in 2011, table tennis in 2011, BMX in 2011 14, rowing in 2016, paratriathlon in 2016 and 2017.
The Roparun Charity Race has been organized since 1992 between Rotterdam and Paris, since 2004 between Paris and Rotterdam, and since 2012 also from Hamburg. This race, where teams of eight cross-country runners take turns for about 48 hours over more than 500 km, ends in Coolsingel, in front of the town hall.
European Capital of Sport
In 2005, the city became the European capital of sport.
People from the municipality
Many personalities have, or have had, a particular attachment to the city of Rotterdam, including those listed below (ranking by year of birth):
- Erasmus (1466/1467/1469-1536), philosopher and humanist;
- Willem Pietersz. Buytewech (1591 or 1592-1624), painter;
- Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684/1694), painter;
- Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), French philosopher and writer, died in Rotterdam;
- Henricus Midderigh (1753-1800), a Batavian patriot;
- Hugo Gevers (1765-1852), political personality, Batavian patriot;
- Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, (1852-1911), first Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1901;
- Eduard Flipse (1896-1973), conductor and composer, he directed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra from 1930 to 1962, making an internationally renowned orchestra;
- Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), an expressionist painter, the city's art academy bears his name;
- Isaac Lipschits (1930-2008), historian, author of research on the deportation of the Otterdaman Jews during the war;
- Coen Moulijn (1937-2011), footballer of the Feyenoord club;
- Neelie Kroes (1941-1941), political personality, European Commissioner during the Barroso Commissions;
- Rem Koolhaas (1944-), architect, author of several architectural projects of the city;
- Ivo Opstelten (1944-2015), political figure, Minister of Security and Justice (2010-2015);
- Ahmed Aboutaleb (1961-), former Secretary of State, mayor of Rotterdam since 2009.
Transport and communication routes
The Romanian transport is organized by the RET Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram, a company founded in 1927 that manages tram, subway and urban buses to Rotterdam and its urban area.
|2||Keizerswaard||Grote Hagen, Maasstad Ziekenhuis, Station Lombardijen, Hillevliet - Maashaven, Charlois|
|4||Molenlaan||Station Noord, Rotterdam-Central, Eendrachtsplein, Delfshaven|
|7||Woudestein||Erasmus University, Voorschoterlaan, Oostplein, Rotterdam-Central, Eendrachtsplein|
|8||Kleiweg||Noord, Rotterdam-Central, Bears, Leuvehaven, Erasmus MC, Delfshaven, Marconiplein|
|20||Lombardijen plant Rotterdam-Central||Maasstad Ziekenhuis, Lombardijen, Wilhelminaplein, Leuvehaven, Beurs, Lijnbaan||It is not open in the evening after 8 pm and on Sunday morning.|
|21||From Esch, Schiedam-Woudhoek||Woudestein, Oostplein, Blaak, Bears, Rotterdam-Central, Marconiplein, Station Schiedam Centrum, Nieuwland||It is not open in the evening after 8 pm and on Sunday morning.|
|23||Beverwaard||Keizerswaard, Stadion Feijenoord, Wilhelminaplein, Leuvehaven, Beurs, Rotterdam-Central|
|24||De Esch||Woudestein, Oostplein, Blaak Station, Bers, Rotterdam-Central, Marconiplein, Schiedam-Center, Nieuwland|
|25||Carnisselande Skiebroek||Erasmus MC-Daniël Den Hoedkliniek, Randweg, Beijerlandselaan, Wilhelminaplein, Leuvehaven, Bears, Rotterdam Centraal, Sint Franciscus Gasthuis, Melanchthonweg|
Three other tram lines are used occasionally:
- line 10 that works during the summer;
- line 12 which serves the Feyenoord stadium for certain football matches;
- line 18.
It was the first subway network opened in the Netherlands in 1968. The first line was put into operation on : this north-south line (Noord-Zuidlijn) unfolds between the central station and the Zuidplein, thus connecting the north bank and the south bank of the New Meuse. It is gradually extended. A second east-west line (Oost-Westlijn) opened in 1982. These two original lines are split and extended, and there are currently five lines that make up the metropolitan network, serving Rotterdam and the surrounding urban areas. The total length of the network is 78.3 km.
|Line||Terminals (North, East/South, West)||Stations||Length (km)||Comments|
|Line A||Binnenhof - Schiedam Centrum||20||17.2||Expanded Vlaardingen West (2018).|
|Line B||Nesselande - Schiedam Centrum||23||20.1||Planned Extension: Hoek van Holland Strand (2018).|
|Line C||De Terp - De Akkers||26||30|
|Line D||Rotterdam Central - De Akkers||17||21|
|E Line||Den Haag Centraal - Slinge metro||23||27||Directed by RandstadRail.|
The first line was created in 1928, between Overschie and Coolsingel. In 1930, the number of bus lines increased to 7, in 1940, 11 lines served the city. In 2017, 38 bus lines traveled through Rotterdam and its region.
Several companies offer river shuttles between the north and south banks of the Meuse. Waterbus service is a public transportation service or boat-bus service. The Rotterdam-Drechtsteden Waterbus connects Rotterdam and several cities along the New Meuse. This line serves the tourist site of Kinderdijk, famous for its windmills, as well as the nearby town of Dordrecht.
The watertaxi looks like a water taxi service. It allows trips within the municipality, with departures of about 50 platforms. Unlike bus-boats, the taxi-boat is an individual service that accepts small groups of people and places passengers directly where they wish on one of the platforms served.
The communal area is served by 6 main roads. This network is complemented by a ring belt, the Ringweg Rotterdam, a road that is connected to these six motorways via six interchanges. Work is currently underway to extend the peripheral track, which began in 2016. This new stretch, the A16 Rotterdam, 11 km long, will enable in 2019 to connect the A13 motorway (at the Rotterdam-La Hague airport) and the A16 motorway (at the Terbregseplein interchange).
|A4||Amsterdam - Rybrunswick - The Hague — Rotterdam — Berg-op-Zoom — Antwerp-Port (A12, Belgium)|
|A13||Rybrunswick — Delft — Rotterdam|
|A15||Maasvlakte — Rotterdam - Nijmegen|
|A16||Rotterdam — Dordrecht — Bréda — Antwerp (A1, Belgium)|
|A20||Westland — Schiedam — Rotterdam — Gouda|
|A29||Barendrecht — Rotterdam — Berg-op-Zoom|
The city has a network of cycle paths with a total length of 600 km. Four of the city's roads are lined by a road dedicated to the circulation of bicycles: the one that borders the Erasmus bridge, the one that unfolds along the Schiekade, the one that borders the avenue of Weena in the center, and the one that passes through the Provenierstunnel. This network includes bridges exclusively for bicycles.
The city's bike network is complemented by 8,500 bicycle pitches. The city is also dotted with many self-service bicycle points thanks to an electronic pass system, the OV-fiets system.
In addition, several of the town's cycling routes are intended for walking or hiking, such as Rondje Rotterdam, a 10 km route; the Fietsroute Rotterdam, 14 miles long; or even the Nieuwe Maasparcourt, an itinerary along the New Meuse.
The railway network includes several stations in the municipality of Rotterdam. From the central station (commonly known as the central station) located in the CS district (central station), there are frequent stops (stoptrains or sprinters), trains to major cities and airports (Intercity) and international trains: the Thalys, serving Belgium and France (Paris and Lille), and the IC serving Germany; as well as some direct trains to seasonal destinations (the Alps in winter).
Other stations in Rotterdam are Rotterdam Blaak (Blaak Square), Rotterdam Alexander (Prins Alexander District), Rotterdam North (North), Rotterdam Zuid (South), Lombardijen and Rotterdam Stadion (Stadium) stations which are only used during football matches at Feyenoord Stadium. As in the rest of the country, railway stations, trains and other related services are generally administered by the Dutch railway company, Nederlandse Sporwegen (NS).
Rotterdam Blaak station.
Lombardijen train station.
Rotterdam Noord train station.
Rotterdam Zuid railway station.
The Prins Alexander station.
North of Rotterdam, in the Zestienhoven polder, the Rotterdam-The Hague airport was built in 1955. It opened on . A new terminal was built in the late 1960s. The new passenger transit vessel was opened on . The airport has long been called the Zestienhoven airport, before being renamed Rotterdam airport in 2004, then Rotterdam-The Hague airport on .
In 2016, the airport's passenger traffic amounted to 1,683,863 and 52,442 air flights were carried out there, placing it third among the Dutch airports — the second regional airport of the Netherlands after that of Eindhoven, with the international airport being Amsterdam-Schiphol.
Bridges and tunnels
The municipality of Rotterdam has about 800 small bridges (less than 15 m long) due to the large number of canals built to protect the city from flooding.
In the center of Rotterdam, on the Rotte River, there are bridges, fixed or rising, allowing navigation. The Rotta bridges crossing Rotterdam were destroyed by the 1940 bombing, with the exception of one (the Noorderbrug). They have been rebuilt, and the Rotte has been partially rebuilt to give way to wide avenues that favor land transport.
On the New Meuse (tributary of the Rhine), for a long time, the construction of bridges was avoided because of the obstacles they pose to the movement of boats. From Rotterdam center, the crossings from one bank to the other of the Meuse were made by boat. In 1870, the Queen’s Bridge (Koninginsebrug) was built, linking the northern island to the docks of the King’s Harbor (Koningshaven). It was not until 1878 that the first road on the New Meuse was opened: the former Guillaume bridge (Willemsbrug), which consists of two bridges: a railway bridge and a bridge open to pedestrians, bicycles and cars. Until the construction of the Erasmus Bridge, a century later, no bridge was built on the New Meuse west of the bridge's location. The Guillaume Bridge, which ends on the northern island, is being extended so that the track reaches the east bank of Rotterdam: the Koningshavenbrug (bridge of the King's quay) commonly known as De Hef was opened in 1878. This bridge was extensively rebuilt in the 1920s.
During the 20th century, other bridges were built, crossing the New Meuse. Upstream downstream of the Nouvelle Meuse River, the main bridges, those spanning the river and linking the two banks, are:
- Brienenoord Bridge (Brienenoordbrug), opened in 1964, doubled in 1990. This is the first bridge built on the Meuse. With a length of 1.3 km, it is the fourth longest bridge in the Netherlands. Composed of a fixed part and a moving part, it has a clear height — the height between the water body and the central span and determining the draft of the vessels — of 22,50 m;
- the new Willemsbrug bridge (Guillaume bridge), opened in 1981. It is a 270 m suspension bridge. His opening was the first official act of Prince Willem-Alexander. The bridge is located north-east of the site of the old bridge Guillaume, demolished after it opened. The railway bridge located just next door, was also demolished and is replaced by a railway tunnel, the Willemsporttunnel in 1987;
- the Erasmus bridge (1996, architect Ben van Berkel), composed of two parts, a fixed part (suspension bridge with a range of 278 m) and a mobile part (tipping bridge). This is the third and last bridge that completely crosses the New Meuse River in Rotterdam.
The construction of two new bridges on the New Meuse, near the city center, has been under consideration since 2016.
Former bridges of Rotterdam photographed in 1939.
Aerial view of the bridges of the center of Rotterdam.
Koninginnebrug and Lift Bridge De Hef (foreground).
Bridges and tunnels of the modern port of Rotterdam (20th and 21st centuries)
Downstream of the New Meuse, the river takes the name of Scheur, at the confluence of the Meuse and the New Meuse. Between the Scheur and the North Sea is the Nieuwewaterweg, which opens onto the sea through the Maasmond canal. Several tunnels allow the crossing of vehicles:
- the Willemssportunnel opened in 1993, replaces the external railway bridge (former Guillaume bridge) and allows the passage of the train lines south from the Rotterdam-Blaak underground station towards Bréda;
- The Maastunnel is the first such tunnel built in the country in 1937; it is on several levels, allowing pedestrians, bikes by a bicycle path, and cars to pass through; its road section is being renovated until 2019;
- the tunnel of the Benelux is a set of several tunnels passing under the Meuse River to connect the communes of Schiedam and Flardingue to the southern district of Rotterdam, Hoogvliet; it provides access to the A4 motorway, the metro and the cycle routes. A first tunnel was built and completed in 1967. It was extended by a second tunnel (Beneluxtunnel) opened in 2002;
- the road Botlek tunnel, which is the gateway to the A15 motorway, opened in 1980;
- the Botlek railway tunnel opened in 2006, was built to allow a better rail link for the transport of materials and goods between Rotterdam and the German industrial Ruhr region (Betuwe line);
- the Burgemeester Thomassentunnel tunnel, sometimes nicknamed the Ferrari tunnel because of its red color, opened in 2004, allows the motorway passage (A15) under the Caland canal, connecting the Botlek (east) to the Europoort (west) area.
Many bridges were also built in the post-war port areas. The bridges built in the second half of the 20th century, when the port expanded with the port areas of Europort, Botlek, Maasvlaakte, required large-scale construction, including the Dintelhaven railway bridge (the Dintelhavensburg), which is 270 m long.
The city's first coat of arms originated in the early 14th century. At the surrender of Rotterdam, Guillaume I, Count of Holland and Hainaut, in thanking the support of the lords of Wena, in his fight against Flanders in 1304, offers the city its own coat of arms. At that time, the first weapons of Rotterdam consisted of four lions, including two red and two black, symbolizing the emblems of the Hainaut.
New coat of arms of the city was created in 1740.
In the 1810s, when the Netherlands was under Napoleonic rule, the municipality had to adapt its coat of arms to its position as "good city of the first empire", adding a golden eagle to its coat of arms. When the Kingdom of the Netherlands was established in 1815, the eagle gave way to a royal crown. This change is ratified by a royal decree dated .
In , Queen Whilelmine, seeking to recall the ability of the Rotterdamans to overcome the suffering endured during the war, officially awarded them the motto "Sterker door strijd", "Stronger by Effort" which has since appeared on the coat of arms of the city. On this occasion, the Queen says that it is a matter of "reminding future generations of the courage and strength with which the people of Rotterdam have endured all the hardships of war, and of the essential contribution that they have made to the liberation of the homeland". A memorial statue bearing this motto was erected in the center of Rotterdam in 1953.
| || |
The Coat of Arms of Rotterdam blasted as follows: "Discarded: From singles to pal d'argent, to the golden chief four lion hangers and sands. 1 and 4 in gold a lion passing from sword thrown to the throat, 2 and 3 in gold a lion passing from azure sword thrown to the throat deployed. "
Description of the Coat of Arms
The coat of arms comes in the form of a shield composed of two green strips symbolizing Wena's original weapon and bissected with a white band symbolizing the Rotta; and four lions, two blacks and two reds represented on a golden field. The shield is held by two lions in golden and natural colors. The two lions stand on a terrace in the form of a wall made of bricks against which the waves come. These coats of arms are supplemented by the motto of Rotterdam arranged on a roll: "Sterker door strijd" ("Stronger by effort").
Use of coat of arms and coat of arms
The coat of arms of the city of Rotterdam is registered at the Hoge Raad van Adel (College of Arms).
Coat of arms in 1740.
Coat of arms in 1813.
Coat of arms in 1816.
Current Arms (since 1948).
Rotterdam in culture and the arts
Domain of painting
Rotterdam and its port have inspired several painters, such as Dutch painters Hendrick Martensz Sorgh, Pieter Schipperus and Lieve Verschuier, German Hans Herrmann, French Eugène Boudin and Maximilien Luce, Russian Vassily Kandinsky, Impressionists George Hendrik Breitner and Paul Signac, or British William Turner.
By grote markt van Rotterdam by Hendrick Martensz Sorgh.
Herbstmorgen in Rotterdam, by Hans Herrmann (1879).
Hans Hermann's Alte Schler in Delfshaven.
De oude vismarkt aan de Leuvehaven de Pieter Schipperus, 1925.
The Meuse in Rotterdam by Eugène Boudin (1881).
Rotterdam, by Vassily Kandinsky (1904).
De Baan in Rotterdam by George Hendrik Breitner (1906-1907).
Rotterdam, mill on the canal of Paul Signac.
The Great Comet of 1680 over Rotterdam of Lieve Verschuier, 1681.
The port of Rotterdam, in the evening of Maximilien Luce.
Jaap Valkhoff has written several songs about Rotterdam, the most famous of which, Langs de Maas, is now immortalized by a statue erected in his honor in 1998 at Leuvehaven.
Rotterdam inspired a song of the same name, to the poet and singer Leo Ferré.
The Beautiful South dedicated a song to the city, Rotterdam (or Anywhere), published in 1996.
Music groups from hardcore house refer explicitly to Rotterdam in their name: Rotterdam Terror Corps and Rotterdam Termination Source.
At the cinema, Rotterdam was featured in the Dutch film Het Bombardment which took place during the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940.
Karakter is a 1997 drama film shot by the Dutch director Mike van Diem, which takes place during the 1920s in Rotterdam. This film, which is the adaptation of the novel Karakter and the new novel entitled Dreverhaven en Katadreuffe by F. Broderick features a young man who lives with his mother in poor neighborhoods and wants to become a lawyer.
The film De Marathon (2012) is a Dutch comedy that tells the story of a group of garagists in Rotterdam deciding to run the Rotterdam marathon to save their garage from bankruptcy. The film was highly successful and a musical with the same title was performed at the Luxor Theater in 2017.
Video game domain
Two levels of the Hitman game: Game killer, then two other levels of the Hitman game: Contracts take place in Rotterdam. Rotterdam is also the setting of a level Battlefield V game, the level takes place during the Second World War.
Notes and References
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- (en) (nl) Official Site
- (en) (nl) Rotterdam Archives
- (en) (nl) Tourism Office
- (en) Port of Rotterdam
- Rotterdam portal