Rotterdam.

Welcome to Rotterdam.   The city that was completely bombed by the
Germans in WWII, began to rebuild post war,  and is currently an
impressive cultural and architectural center.  One of the weirdest
things about walking around this Dutch city, is noticing its wide open
spaces.  Unlike other major cities in Holland, Rotterdam has room to
breathe.  Lots of room.  In these great, abundant spaces are strange
buildings.  New, modern, strangely shaped, and tall are some of the
words that come to mind while looking at these cutting edge
structures.

In 1953, an artist created a statue to commemorate the Rotterdam Blitz; he
named it: “the city without a heart.”  This name seems quite fitting to
me, as Rotterdam is strikingly modern, but does not seem to have depth
or feeling.  At first look there is no mention of past, no memories,
no historical plaques- history seems to have vanished, as if a page
was torn from a novel, and never taped back in.

I think I can understand this though.  If you’ve lost everything (and
I mean everything- the city center was literally burned to the
ground), it’s hard to rebuild.  How would you start all over again?
This was the question that went through my mind as I wandered the
somewhat empty streets.

This post on the second largest city of Holland has been a bit gloomy,
but I’m happy to say there is a silver lining for the story of
Rotterdam.  Here are a few fun facts about the city today:

-Rotterdam is home to some of the tallest structures in the
Netherlands, including: The Erasmusburg, The Euromast, and the larger than life Dutchman,
Johannes Van  Taller  (This is a bad joke).

-Erusmus University and the Willem de Kooning University have
excellent relations with the holiday hot spot: Ibiza

-Football is just as important as jazz music (ok soccer fans, take it easy
on me)—the Northsea Jazz festival will host Prince this Summer!

-Rotterdam used to have the largest port in the world.  This was a
cool bragging right.  Rotterdam was robbed of its title by Shanghai in
2004.  The two cities are apparently still friendly.  Sort of.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Rotterdam.

  1. Jen

    Really interesting post Helen! I certainly learned something new today! and what beautiful pictures!

  2. Mom

    Ditto to Jen’s comment! Thanks for the post. Love, Mom

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