Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, made famous for its modern architecture. Quirky architecture is not the only interesting thing about Rotterdam though.
- The flag of Rotterdam
- Rotterdam’s motto
- An old city
- Netherlands skyline
- Spy centre
- Eco station
- The Witte Huis
The flag of Rotterdam
The colours of Rotterdam have been green and white since the Middle Ages, but the number of lines on the flag have changed. The current flag, which has been official since 1949, is a green horizontal stripe followed by a white stripe, and a final green stripe. The green represents the Court of Wena, a castle that stood on the former Hofplein Station, and the white symbolises the Rotte river.
Rotterdam’s motto is ‘sterker door strijd’, which translates to ‘stronger through battle’. It was adopted after the second world war by Queen Wilhelmina as a testament to the courage and bravery of Rotterdammers during the second world war. You can see the motto underneath the coat of arms of Rotterdam.
An old city
Looking around Rotterdam, admiring it’s modern architecture, you would believe that it was a fairly new city. In fact, Rotterdam gained its city rights in 1340. Unfortunately, the city was heavily bombed during the second world war, and so most of it had to be rebuilt, forming the city we know today.
Rotterdam is the only city in the Netherlands with a skyline. Made from 352 high-rise buildings, the Rotterdam skyline is often referred to as ‘the Manhattan on the Maas’ because most of the buildings are situated on the river Maas and new high rises are constantly being built. The tallest building in Rotterdam, and the Netherlands, is the Maastoren, which is 165 meters tall.
During the first world war, Rotterdam became the biggest spy centre in the world for both Germany and Britain. This was because the Netherlands, and therefore Rotterdam, was a neutral country and was also placed perfectly in between Germany and Britain. Rotterdam was particularly popular because it had excellent ferry and railway connections with Britain, Germany, and Belgium.
Rotterdam’s harbour, Europort, is the biggest port in Europe, 10th biggest port in the world, and the 11th biggest container port in the world. It is considered one of the busiest ports in the world and a major entry point into Europe.
Rotterdam Central Station is the main station in Rotterdam. It’s roof is formed from 28,000 square meters of glass plates and 10,000 square meters of stainless steel. 10,000 meters of the glass contain 136,000 solar cells, which supplies 8% of the daily electricity the train station uses.
In the Scheepsvaart area of Rotterdam is a secret club called Dr. Known as one of the best cocktail bars in Rotterdam, you can only enter the bar if you have a patient number that you are given when you pre-book. As the name suggests, the bar is doctor themed, but once inside you are not allowed to take photos, use your phone, or talk about the bar. The air of mystery is what has helped maintain the hype and mystery of the cocktail bar since its opening in 2012.
Only, roughly, 50% of the people living in Rotterdam are Dutch. The city attracts a large number of expats, mostly due to its renowned universities, and, as such, is hugely multicultural. It now has its own Chinatown, an abundance of restaurants catering to world cuisines, and festivals to celebrate its ever growing multiculturalism.
The Witte Huis
The Witte Huis, or the White House, was the first skyscraper in Rotterdam. Built between 1897 and 1898 by architect Willem Molenbroek, the building is 11 stories high. There were many people who were sceptical as to whether the building would be supported by the soil. It was one of the only buildings in Rotterdam city centre that survived the big bombardment in 1940.
Reading fun facts about Rotterdam is great, but experiencing them first hand is even better. Whilst you explore Rotterdam, let us sort out your laundry. Book your Laundryheap order by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.