Netherlands facts and history in brief
Excerpted from Wikipedia,
the free Encyclopaedia.
Rotterdam is the second largest
city in the Netherlands, located in
the province of South Holland.
The city is situated on the banks
of the Nieuwe Maas River.
The name "Rotterdam" is derived from
the small river Rotte, which joins
the Nieuwe Maas at the location of the city.
As of January 1, 1999 the municipality
had an area of 30424 hectares
with a total population of 600,000.
Apart from the centre the municipality
it includes 16 towns, villages and
Rotterdam has by some accounts
the largest harbour in the world,
and it functions as an important
transit point for goods transported
between the European continent and
other parts of the world: by ship,
river barge, train and road.
A faster, new cargo railway to Germany,
the Betuweroute, has been under
construction since 2000.
The city is in constant struggle
to maintain its prominent position
as a world leader in container,
petrol, and general cargo transhipment
Large oil refineries are located west
of the city along the Nieuwe Waterweg.
History and recent developments
Rotterdam was given cityrights on
June 7, 1340 by Willem IV.
On May 14, 1940 Rotterdam was bombarded
by the German Luftwaffe, on the last of
five days of war in the Netherlands.
The heart of the city was almost completely
destroyed, which Ossip Zadkine later
expressed strikingly with his statue
Stad zonder hart (City without a heart).
The statue is located near the Leuvehaven,
not far from the Erasmusbrug in
the north of the city.
From the fifties through the seventies
of the 20th century the city was rebuilt.
It remained quite windy and open until
the city councils from the eighties on
began developing an active
Daring and new styles of apartments,
office buildings and recreation
facilities resulted in a more 'livable'
city centre with a new skyline.
In the nineties a new business centre
on the south bank of the river,
the Kop van Zuid has been built.
Rotterdam is divided into
'Rotterdam-North' and ' Rotterdam-South'
by the river Nieuwe Maas.
A former railway bridge, movable upward to let ships
pass, is preserved as a monument, now permanently in
upward position ("De Hef").
Rotterdam South is on the island of IJsselmonde.
Rotterdam has the second largest
airport of the country, Rotterdam
Airport (formerly known as Zestienhoven),
which is located north of the city.
Rotterdam has one major university, the
Erasmus University Rotterdam, named
after one of its famous former
inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus.
Well known museums are the Boymans-van
Beuningen (arts) Museum , the
Historisch Museum, the Volkenkundig
Museum (foreign peoples and cultures),
the Maritiem Museum and the
Brandweermuseum (Fire brigade museum).
The Euromast (Eurotower) has long
been a major tourist attraction.
Rotterdam was the European Culture Capital of 2001.
The city has its own orchestra, the
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a
large congress and concert building
De Doelen, plus many theatres (among
which the new Luxor theatre) and movie theatres.
The spacious Ahoy-complex in the south
of the city is being used for pop
concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments
and other such activities.
Rotterdam is the home of three
professional football teams:
(Schiedam-Spangen) and Excelsior.
The large Feyenoord stadium with
its popular name De Kuip (The Tub) in
the southeast of the city has hosted
many international soccer games.
Rotterdam has its own annual
international marathon, which
offers one of the fastest
courses in the world.
It is the home of Gabber music, a type
of techno music with fast beats and samples.
Well-known streets in Rotterdam
are the shopping centre the Lijnbaan
(the first one of the country with
streets for pedestrians only, opened
in 1953), the Coolsingel with the
city hall, and the Weena, which
runs from the Central Station to
the Hofplein (square).
Good national train connections
and to Belgium and France; at night:
hourly train service to Delft, The
Hague, Leiden, Schiphol Airport,
Amsterdam and, with a detour, Utrecht.
Metro services include the
Erasmus Line: Rotterdam Central station -
Albrandswaard (Rhoon, Poortugaal) -
Hoogvliet - Spijkenisse
Caland Line: two lines from the
northeast of Rotterdam and one from
Capelle aan den IJssel join; the
combined line terminated in the
west of Rotterdam, but on
November 4, 2002, an extension was
opened: the line now connects to the
main railway network at Schiedam
railway station, has a stop in
Pernis and joins the Erasmus Line
trains on the
Caland Line, like those on the
Erasmus Line, terminate in Spijkenisse.
The eastern parts of the Caland Line
have some level crossings (with priority),
and could therefore be called light
rail instead of underground; however,
they are integrated in the system;
these parts have overhead wires,
while the rest has third-rail,
the vehicles can handle both.
Fast Ferry service between
Rotterdam Willemskade - Krimpen
aan den IJssel Stormpolder -
Ridderkerk De Schans -
Alblasserdam Kade - Dordrecht Merwekade.
For more information about the
Netherlands facts and history in
All text is available under the terms of the
GNU Free Documentation License.
This information is correct in 2003. E. & O.E.
I visited Rotterdam in 1978
and I very much enjoyed my stay in the city.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
Back to Top
Thanks for coming, I hope you
have enjoyed it, will recommend
it to your friends, and will come
back later to see my site developing
I'm trying to make my pages
enjoyable and trouble free for everyone,
please let me know of any mistakes
or trouble with links, so I can
fix any problem as soon as possible.
These pages are best viewed with monitor
resolution set at 640x480 and kept simple
on purpose so everyone can enjoy them
across all media and platforms.
You can e-mail me at