City in Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands
Top 10 Rotterdam related articles
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Education
- 6 Culture
- 7 Architecture
- 8 Sports
- 9 Yearly events
- 10 Transportation
- 11 International relations
- 12 Notable residents
- 13 In popular culture
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Rotown, Roffa, Rotjeknor, Nultien, 010
Sterker door strijd (Stronger through struggle)
Location in South Holland
Location in South Holland
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA)|
|• Municipality||324.14 km2 (125.15 sq mi)|
|• Land||217.55 km2 (84.00 sq mi)|
|• Water||106.59 km2 (41.15 sq mi)|
|• Randstad||3,043 km2 (1,175 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Rotterdam (//, UK also //, Dutch: [ˌrɔtərˈdɑm] (
A major logistic and economic centre, Rotterdam is Europe's largest seaport. In 2020, it had a population of 651,446 and is home to over 180 nationalities. Rotterdam is known for its university, riverside setting, lively cultural life, maritime heritage and modern architecture. The near-complete destruction of the city centre in the World War II Rotterdam Blitz has resulted in a varied architectural landscape, including skyscrapers designed by architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.
The Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt give waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialized Ruhr. The extensive distribution system including rail, roads, and waterways have earned Rotterdam the nicknames "Gateway to Europe" and "Gateway to the World".
Rotterdam Intro articles: 16
The settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from rot, "muddy" and a, "water", thus "muddy water") dates from at least 950 CE. Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams, including Schielands Hoge Zeedijk ("Schieland’s High Sea Dike") along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas river. A dam on the Rotte was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat ("High Street").
On 7 July 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, whose population then was only a few thousand. Around the year 1350, a shipping canal (the Rotterdamse Schie) was completed, which provided Rotterdam access to the larger towns in the north, allowing it to become a local trans-shipment centre between the Netherlands, England and Germany, and to urbanize.
The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six "chambers" of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company.
The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbour started to expand on the south bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper, inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Château-style, is evidence of Rotterdam's rapid growth and success. When completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m (147.64 ft).
During World War I, the city was the world's largest spy centre because of Dutch neutrality and its strategic location in between Britain, Germany and German-occupied Belgium. Many spies who were arrested and executed in Britain were led by German secret agents operating from Rotterdam. MI6 had its main European office on de Boompjes. From there the British coordinated espionage in Germany and occupied Belgium. During World War I, an average of 25,000 Belgian refugees lived in the city, as well as hundreds of German deserters and escaped Allied prisoners of war.
During World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. The Dutch army was forced to capitulate on 15 May 1940, following the bombing of Rotterdam on 14 May and the threat of bombing of other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe. Some 80,000 civilians were made homeless and 900 were killed; a relatively low number since many had fled the city because of the warfare and bombing going on in Rotterdam since the start of the invasion three days earlier. The City Hall survived the bombing. Ossip Zadkine later attempted to capture the event with his statue De Verwoeste Stad ('The Destroyed City'). The statue stands near the Leuvehaven, not far from the Erasmusbrug in the centre of the city, on the north shore of the river Nieuwe Maas.
Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through to the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'livable' city centre with a new skyline. In the 1990s, the Kop van Zuid was built on the south bank of the river as a new business centre. Rotterdam was voted 2015 European City of the Year by the Academy of Urbanism. A profile of Rem Koolhaas in The Guardian begins "If you put the last 50 years of architecture in a blender, and spat it out in building-sized chunks across the skyline, you would probably end up with something that looked a bit like Rotterdam."
Rotterdam History articles: 26
Rotterdam is divided into a northern and a southern part by the river Nieuwe Maas, connected by (from west to east): the Beneluxtunnel; the Maastunnel; the Erasmusbrug ('Erasmus Bridge'); a subway tunnel; the Willemsspoortunnel ('Willems railway tunnel'); the Willemsbrug ('Willems Bridge') together with the Koninginnebrug ('Queen's Bridge'); and the Van Brienenoordbrug ('Van Brienenoord Bridge'). The former railway lift bridge De Hef ('the Lift') is preserved as a monument in lifted position between the Noordereiland ('North Island') and the south of Rotterdam.
The city centre is located on the northern bank of the Nieuwe Maas, although recent urban development has extended the centre to parts of southern Rotterdam known as De Kop van Zuid ('the Head of South', i.e. the northern part of southern Rotterdam). From its inland core, Rotterdam reaches the North Sea by a swathe of predominantly harbour area.
Built mostly behind dikes, large parts of the Rotterdam are below sea level. For instance, the Prins Alexander Polder in the northeast of Rotterdam extends 6 metres (20 ft) below sea level, or rather below Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP) or 'Amsterdam Ordnance Datum'. The lowest point in the Netherlands (6.76 metres (22.2 ft) below NAP) is situated just to the east of Rotterdam, in the municipality of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.
The Rotte river no longer joins the Nieuwe Maas directly. Since the early 1980s, when the construction of Rotterdam's second subway line interfered with the Rotte's course, its waters have been pumped through a pipe into the Nieuwe Maas via the Boerengat.
Between the summers of 2003 and 2008, an artificial beach was created at the Boompjeskade along the Nieuwe Maas, between the Erasmus Bridge and the Willems Bridge. Swimming was not possible, digging pits was limited to the height of the layer of sand, about 50 cm (20 in). Alternatively, people go to the beach of Hoek van Holland (which is a Rotterdam district) or one of the beaches in Zeeland: Renesse or the Zuid Hollandse Eilanden: Ouddorp, Oostvoorne.
Rotterdam forms the centre of the Rijnmond conurbation, bordering the conurbation surrounding The Hague to the north-west. The two conurbations are close enough to be a single conurbation. They share the Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a light rail system called RandstadRail. Consideration is being given to creating an official Metropolitan region Rotterdam The Hague (Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag), which would have a combined population approaching 2.5 million.
On its turn, the Rijnmond conurbation is part of the southern wing (the Zuidvleugel) of the Randstad, which is one of the most important economic and densely populated areas in the north-west of Europe. Having a population of 7.1 million, the Randstad is the sixth-largest urban area in Europe (after Moscow, London, Paris, Istanbul, and the Rhein-Ruhr Area). The Zuidvleugel, situated in the province of South Holland, has a population of around 3 million.
Rotterdam experiences a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to all of the coastal areas in the Netherlands. Located near to the coast, its climate is slightly milder than locations further inland. Winters are cool with frequent cold days, while the summers are mild to warm, with occasional hot temperatures. Temperatures above 30 °C are not uncommon during summer, while (night) temperatures can drop below -5 °C during winter for short periods of time, mostly during periods of sustained easterly (continental) winds. The following climate data is from the airport, which is slightly cooler than the city, being surrounded by water canals which make the climate milder and with a higher relative humidity. The city has an urban heat island, especially inside the city centre.
|Climate data for Rotterdam The Hague Airport (1991-2020)|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.1
|Average high °C (°F)||7.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.1
|Average low °C (°F)||1.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−17.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||69.1
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||12||10||12||9||9||10||10||10||12||12||13||13||131|
|Average snowy days||6||5||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||4||22|
|Average relative humidity (%)||88||85||83||78||77||79||79||80||84||86||89||89||83|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||62.5||83.8||124.0||174.9||213.9||203.6||213.1||196.6||137.6||106.9||60.4||46.7||1,623.8|
|Source 1: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)|
|Source 2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1971–2000 extremes)|
Rotterdam Geography articles: 29
|Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 116–117 (1398–1795)|
|City of Rotterdam population by country of origin (2018)|
Rotterdam is diverse, with the demographics differing by neighbourhood. The city centre has a disproportionately high number of single people when compared to other cities, with 70% of the population between the ages of 20 and 40 identifying as single. Those with higher education and higher income live disproportionately in the city centre, as do foreign-born citizens. 54% of city centre residents are foreign-born, compared to 45% in other parts of the city, while in the city centre 70% of businesses are run by foreign-born people. Nonetheless, this is not a comment on income, as 80% of homes are rented in the city centre.
The municipality of Rotterdam is part of the Rotterdam-The Hague Metropolitan Area which, as of 2015, covers an area of 1,130 km2, of which 990 km km2 is land, and has a population of approximately 2,563,197. As of 2019, the municipality itself occupies an area of 325.79 km2, 208.80 km2 of which is land, and is home to 638,751 inhabitants. Its population peaked at 731,564 in 1965, but the dual processes of suburbanization and counterurbanization saw this number steadily decline over the next 2 decades, reaching 560,000 by 1985. Although Rotterdam has experienced population growth since then, it has done so at a slower pace than comparable cities in the Netherlands, like Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht .
Rotterdam consists of 14 submunicipalities: Centrum, Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, Pernis, and Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants). One other area, Rozenburg, does have an official submunicipality status since 18 March 2010.
The size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities, some of which now are a submunicipality:
- Delfshaven (added on 30 January 1886)
- Charlois (added on 28 February 1895)
- Kralingen (added on 28 February 1895)
- Hoogvliet (added on 1 May 1934)
- Pernis (added on 1 May 1934)
- Hillegersberg (added on 1 August 1941)
- IJsselmonde (added on 1 August 1941)
- Overschie (added on 1 August 1941)
- Schiebroek (added on 1 August 1941)
- Rozenburg (added on 18 March 2010)
In the Netherlands, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of foreigners from non-industrialised nations. They form a large part of Rotterdam's multi-ethnic and multicultural diversity. 50.3% of the population are of non-Dutch origins or have at least one parent born outside the country. There are 80,000 Muslims, constituting 13% of the population. The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, is of Moroccan descent and is a practicing Muslim (Mayors are not elected in the Netherlands). The city is home to the largest Dutch Antillean community. The city also has its own China Town at the West-Kruiskade, close to Rotterdam Centraal.
Christianity is the largest religion in Rotterdam, with 31.1% of the population identifying. The second and third largest religions are Islam (13.3%) and Hinduism (3.3%), while about half of the population has no religious affiliation.
Since 1795 Rotterdam has hosted the chief congregation of the liberal Protestant brotherhood of Remonstrants. From 1955 it has been the seat of the bishop of Rotterdam when the Rotterdam diocese was split from the Haarlem diocese. Since 2010 the city is home to the largest mosque in the Netherlands, the Essalam mosque, (capacity 1,500).
Rotterdam Demographics articles: 34
Rotterdam has always been one of the main centres of the shipping industry in the Netherlands. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the world's first multinational, established in 1602, to the merchant shipping leader Royal Nedlloyd established in 1970, with its corporate headquarters located in the landmark building the 'Willemswerf' in 1988. In 1997, Nedlloyd merged with the British shipping industry leader P&O forming the third largest merchant shipping company in the world. The Anglo-Dutch P&O Nedlloyd was bought by the Danish giant corporation 'AP Moller Maersk' in 2005 and its Dutch operations are still headquartered in the 'Willemswerf'.
Nowadays, well-known companies with headquarters in Rotterdam are consumer goods company Unilever, asset management firm Robeco, energy company Eneco, dredging company Van Oord, oil company Shell Downstream, terminal operator Vopak, commodity trading company Vitol and architecture firm Office for Metropolitan Architecture. It is also home to the regional headquarters of chemical company LyondellBasell, commodities trading company Glencore, pharmaceutical company Pfizer, logistics companies Stolt-Nielsen, electrical equipment company ABB Group and consumer goods company Procter & Gamble. Furthermore, Rotterdam has the Dutch headquarters of Allianz, Maersk, Petrobras, Samskip, Louis Dreyfus Group, Aon and MP Objects.
The City of Rotterdam makes use of the services of semi-government companies Roteb and students of Rotterdam Business school RBS (to take care of sanitation, waste management and assorted services) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority (to maintain the Port of Rotterdam). Both these companies were once municipal bodies; now they are autonomous entities, owned by the city.
Being the largest port and one of the largest cities of the country, Rotterdam attracts many people seeking jobs, especially in the cheap labour segment. The city's unemployment rate is 12%, almost twice the national average.
Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Maas and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland and into France. In 2004 Shanghai took over as the world's busiest port. In 2006, Rotterdam was the world's seventh largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) handled.
The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials between the European continent and overseas. From Rotterdam, goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed.
Well-known streets in Rotterdam are the Lijnbaan (the first set of pedestrian streets of the country, opened in 1953), the Hoogstraat, the Coolsingel with the city hall, and the Weena, which runs from the Central Station to the Hofplein (square). A modern shopping venue is the Beurstraverse ("Stock Exchange Traverse"), better known by its informal name 'Koopgoot' ('Buying/Shopping Gutter', after its subterranean position), which crosses the Coolsingel below street level). The Kruiskade is a more upscale shopping street, with retailers like Michael Kors, 7 For All Mankind, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger and the Dutch well-known men's clothier Oger. Another upscale shopping venue is a flagship store of department store De Bijenkorf. Located a little more to the east is the Markthal, with lots of small retailers inside. This hall is also one of Rotterdam's famous architectural landmarks.
The main shopping venue in the south of Rotterdam is Zuidplein, which lies close to Rotterdam Ahoy, an accommodation centre for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping centre called Alexandrium lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture centre.
Rotterdam Economy articles: 47
Rotterdam has one major university, the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after one of the city's famous former inhabitants, Desiderius Erasmus. The Woudestein campus houses (among others) Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. In Financial Times' 2005 rankings it placed 29th globally and 7th in Europe. In the 2009 rankings of Masters of Management, the school reached first place with the CEMS Master in Management and the tenth place with its RSM Master in Management. The university is also home to Europe's largest student association, STAR Study Association Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the world's largest student association, AIESEC, has its international office in the city.
The Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam's main art school, which is part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands and the number 1 in Advertising and Copywriting. Part of the Willem de Kooning Academy is the Piet Zwart Institute for postgraduate studies and research in Fine Art, Media Design and Retail Design. The Piet Zwart Institute boasts a selective roster of emerging international artists.
The Hoboken campus of EUR houses the Dijkzigt (general) hospital, the Sophia Hospital (for children), Daniel den Hoed clinic (cancer institute) and the medical department of the University. They are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center. This center is ranked third in Europe by CSIC as a hospital, and is also ranked within top 50 universities of the world in the field of medicine (clinical, pre-clinical & health, 2017).
Three Hogescholen (Universities of applied sciences) exist in Rotterdam. These schools award their students a professional Bachelor's degree and postgraduate or Master's degree. The three Hogescholen are Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool Inholland and Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans (uni for music and dance) which is also known as CodArts.
As there are many international and American schools scattered across Europe such as ASH (American International School of the Hague) Rotterdam also has its own international school by the name NAISR (Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam). At NAISR children receive a multicultural education in a culturally diverse community and it offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
Unique to the city is the Shipping & Transport College which offers masters, bachelors and vocational diplomas on all levels.
Rotterdam Education articles: 16
Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, with its well-regarded young music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin which plays at a large congress and concert building called De Doelen. There are several theatres and cinemas, including Cinerama. The Ahoy complex in the south of the city is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated on the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium.
Rotterdam features some urban architecture projects, nightlife, and many summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired "Summer Carnival", the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Port days. In the years 2005–2011 the city struggled with venues for pop music. Many of the venues suffered severe financial problems. This resulted in the disappearance of the major music venues Nighttown and WATT and smaller stages such as Waterfront, Exit, and Heidegger. The city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown, Poortgebouw and Annabel. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related subcultural music. There are also the International Film Festival in January, the Poetry International Festival in June, the North Sea Jazz Festival in July, the Valery Gergiev Festival in September, September in Rotterdam and the World of the Witte de With. In June 1970, The Holland Pop Festival (which featured Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Canned Heat, It's a Beautiful Day, and Santana) was held and filmed at the Stamping Grounds in Rotterdam.
There is a healthy competition with Amsterdam, which is often viewed as the cultural capital of the Netherlands. This rivalry is most common amongst the city's football supporters, Feyenoord (Rotterdam) and Ajax (Amsterdam). There is a saying: "Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work". Another one, more popular by Rotterdammers, is "Money is earned in Rotterdam, distributed in The Hague and spent in Amsterdam". Another saying that reflects both the rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam is "Amsterdam has it, Rotterdam doesn't need it". Bright magazine editor Erwin van der Zande notes that this phrase is on T-shirts in Rotterdam.
In terms of alternative culture, Rotterdam had from the 1960s until the 2000s a thriving squatters movement which as well as housing thousands of people, occupied venues, social centres and so on. From this movement came clubs like Boogjes, Eksit, Nighttown, Vlerk and Waterfront. The Poortgebouw was squatted in the 1980s and quickly legalised.
Rotterdam is also the home of Gabber, a type of hardcore electronic music popular in the mid-1990s, with hard beats and samples. Groups like Neophyte and Rotterdam Terror Corps (RTC) started in Rotterdam, playing at clubs like Parkzicht.
The main cultural organisations in Amsterdam, such as the Concertgebouw and Holland Festival, have joint forces with similar organisations in Rotterdam, via A'R'dam. In 2007 these organisations published with plans for co-operation. One of the goals is to strengthen the international position of culture and art in the Netherlands in the international context.
On 30 August 2019, it was announced by the European Broadcasting Union and Dutch television broadcasters AVROTROS, NOS & NPO, that Rotterdam would host the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, following the Dutch victory at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel with the song "Arcade", performed by Duncan Laurence. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, the contest was cancelled. Rotterdam will instead host the 2021 contest, which was confirmed by the EBU on 16 May 2020. The contest is set to take place at the Rotterdam Ahoy, with the semi-finals taking place on 18 & 20 May 2021, and the final taking place on 22 May 2021. This will be the first time that Rotterdam has hosted the contest, and the first time The Netherlands has hosted the contest since 1980, when it was held in The Hague.
Rotterdam has many museums. Well known museums are the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands Architecture Institute, the Wereldmuseum, the Kunsthal, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. The Historical Museum Rotterdam has changed into Museum Rotterdam which aims to exhibit Rotterdam as a contemporary transnational city, and not a past city.
Other museums include the tax & customs museum and the natural history museum. At the historical shipyard and museum Scheepswerf 'De Delft', the reconstruction of ship of the line Delft can be visited.