Rotterdam – Don’t put all your clogs in Amsterdam’s basket
Think Holland? Think Amsterdam? Right?
But before you put all your clogs in the one basket, it’s also worth considering Rotterdam.
I visited the city in the south of Holland earlier this year (after popping in to the capital of course) to run the marathon there.
During my visit I managed to find some time to take in some of the sights of Rotterdam – and it turns out there is plenty to see…
Rotterdam is based in the south of Holland within the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldy river delta at the north sea.
People first settled there in 1270 when a Dam was constructed in the Rotte river.
Today, it is Europe’s largest port.
Rotterdam is full of rivers and canals, meaning that the many water-taxis there are often the best way to explore the city (at least they would be if you don’t get sea sick like me!).
The building above is the De Rotterdam building, widely seen as an iconic example of urban architecture.
It consists of three linked towers, each nearly 150 metres high. Together they form a ‘vertical city’ of high-class flats, a four star hotel, offices, shops and restaurants.
In all they cover an area the size of a football field.
The name refers to the ss Rotterdam, a steamship that once sailed regularly to New York.
There is plenty of interesting architecture in Rotterdam – the city has more architectural bureaus than any other Dutch city.
The locals also have a habit of naming many of the statues and buildings that adorn the city. One large piece of artwork depicting Santa Claus holding a tree has gained the dubious nickname of “The Buttplug Gnome”.
I was in the city to take place in the 37th Rotterdam Marathon. The race attracts the world’s top athletes, as well as thousands of runners from all over the world.
The 800 metre long Erasmus Bridge spans the Maas River, linking the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam.
The suspension bridge has a 139-metre high steel pylon, secured with 40 cables.
An icon of the city, the shape of the Erasmus Bridge gives it its nickname, The Swan.
The skyline is Rotterdam is spectacular – you won’t be able to find a better one in the whole of Holland.
That’s not only because of the superb views available there, but also because it his the only Dutch city to have such a skyline.
While the views from the Erasmus or Willems bridges over the Maas are fantastic, they are also unique in the Netherlands.
Other Dutch cities don’t have skyscrapers around a river or harbour, making Rotterdam one of a kind.