|City and Municipality|
From top down, left to right: Rotterdam at dusk,
Lawrence Church, The Destroyed City sculpture, Euromast,
Cube houses, De Kuip; stadium of Feyenoord,
City Hall of Rotterdam, Schieland House, Hotel New York,
Historic town centre of Delfshaven, Port of Rotterdam
|Nickname(s): Rotown, Roffa, Rotjeknor, Nultien|
|Motto: Sterker door strijd (Stronger through struggle)|
Location in South Holland
|Coordinates: / 51.917; 4.500 / 51.917; 4.500|
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA)|
|• Municipality||325.79 km (125.79 sq mi)|
|• Land||208.80 km (80.62 sq mi)|
|• Water||116.99 km (45.17 sq mi)|
|• Randstad||3,043 km (1,175 sq mi)|
|Elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Population (Municipality, February 2017; Urban and Metro, May 2014; Randstad, 2011)|
|• Density||2,969/km (7,690/sq mi)|
|• Metropolitan region||2,261,844|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Rotterdam (// or //; Dutch: [ˌrɔtərˈdɑm] ( listen)) is a city in the Netherlands, in South Holland within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270 when a dam was constructed in the Rotte river by people settled around it for safety. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland.
A major logistic and economic centre, Rotterdam is Europe's largest port and has a population of 633,471 (2017), the second-largest in the Netherlands, just behind Amsterdam.
Rotterdam is known for the Erasmus University, its riverside setting, lively cultural life and maritime heritage. The near-complete destruction of the city centre in the World War II Rotterdam Blitz has resulted in a varied architectural landscape, including sky-scrapers, an uncommon sight in other Dutch cities, designed by renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.
Rotterdam's logistic success is based on its strategic location on the North Sea, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. The rivers 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".
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 900 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. A dam on the Rotte or "Rotterdam" 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, which then had approximately 2,000 inhabitants. 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 harbor 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 Great-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. In WWI an average of 25,000 Belgian refugees lived in the city, as well as hundreds of German deserters and escaped Allied POW's.
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 finally forced to capitulate on 15 May 1940, following Hitler's bombing of Rotterdam on 14 May and threatening to bomb 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 given that 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.
'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'); 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 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 Netherlands. Located near to the coast, its climate is slightly milder than locations further inland.
|Climate data for Rotterdam The Hague Airport|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.1
|Average high °C (°F)||6.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.6
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8
|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||83.1|
|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)|
|Source: , pp. 116–117 (1398–1795)|
Overall the demographics differ per city area. According to a recent area analysis, the city centre has a singles population of 70%, between the ages of 20 and 40, considerably more than other city areas. Also the city centre has a much larger population of people with higher education and higher income. Nonetheless, 80% of the homes are rented, not owned. The city centre also has a higher percentage (51% vs 45%) of foreign-born citizens. The majority (70%) of shops are also run by foreign-born citizens.
On 1 January 2015 (source: Statistics Netherlands), the municipality covered an area of 319 km (206.44 km of which is land) with a population of 623,956. It is part of the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area with a total population of approximately 2.3 million. In 1965, the municipal population of Rotterdam reached its peak of 731,000, but by 1984 it had decreased to 555,000 as a result of suburbanization.
Rotterdam consists of 14 submunicipalities: Centrum, Charlois (including Heijplaat), Delfshaven, Feijenoord, Hillegersberg-Schiebroek, Hoek van Holland, Hoogvliet, IJsselmonde, Kralingen-Crooswijk, Noord, Overschie, Prins Alexander (the most populous submunicipality with around 85,000 inhabitants), and Rozenburg. One other area, Pernis, does have an official submunicipality status since 3 March 2010.
The current size of the municipality of Rotterdam is the result of the amalgamation of the following former municipalities, some of which now are a submunicipality:
|City of Rotterdam population by country of origin (2016)|
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. 47.7% 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. 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 and comprises the 31,1% of the population. The second and third largest religions are Islam with 13,3% and Hinduism with 3,3%, respectively.
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 consumers 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 and Aon.
The City of Rotterdam makes use of the services of semi-government companies Roteb (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.
Together with Eindhoven (Brainport) and Amsterdam (Airport), Rotterdam (Seaport) forms the foundation of the Dutch economy.
Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse 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 and 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 center for shows, exhibitions, sporting events, concerts and congresses. Another prominent shopping center, called Alexandrium, lies in the east of Rotterdam. It includes a large kitchen and furniture center.
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 a 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) and the Medical Department of the University. These are known collectively as the Erasmus Medical Center, which is ranked third worldwide for medical research, behind the Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The Erasmus Medical Center ranks as the top European institution in clinical medicine according to the Times Higher Education rankings.
There are also three Hogescholen (Universities of applied sciences) 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/American school by the name AISR (American International School of Rotterdam). At AISR children receive a multicultural education in a culturally diverse community and it offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program.
Unique to the city is the Shipping & Transport College which offers masters, bachelors and vocational diplomas on all levels.
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; a large congress and concert building called De Doelen; several theaters (including the new Luxor) and movie theatres; and the Ahoy Rotterdam complex in the south of the city, which is used for pop concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments, and other activities. A major zoo called Diergaarde Blijdorp is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam, complete with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium. The city is home to the Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute.
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 popmusic. 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. Currently the city has a few venues for pop music like Rotown, Poortgebouw and Annabel. The venue WORM focuses on experimental music and related cutting edge 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. 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".
It 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.
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.
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 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.
In 1898, the 45-metre (148-foot) high-rise office building the White House (in Dutch Witte Huis) was completed, at that time the tallest office building in Europe. In the first decades of the 20th century, some influential architecture in the modern style was built in Rotterdam. Notable are the Van Nelle fabriek (1929) a monument of modern factory design by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, the Jugendstil clubhouse of the Royal Maas Yacht Club designed by Hooijkaas jr. en Brinkman (1909), and Feyenoord's football stadium De Kuip (1936) also by Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The architect J. J. P. Oud was a famous Rotterdammer in those days. The Van Nelle Factory obtained the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. During the early stages of World War II the center of Rotterdam was bombed by the Germans, destroying many of the older buildings in the center of the city. After initial crisis re-construction the center of Rotterdam has become the site of ambitious new architecture.
Rotterdam is also famous for its Lijnbaan 1952 by architects Broek en Bakema, Peperklip by architect Carel Weeber, Kubuswoningen or cube houses designed by architect Piet Blom 1984.
The newest landmark in Rotterdam is the Markthal, designed by architect firm MVRDV. In addition to that there are many international well known architects based in Rotterdam like O.M.A (Rem Koolhaas), Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat to name a few. Two architectural landmarks are located in the Lloydkwartier: the STC college building and the Schiecentrale 4b.
Rotterdam also houses several of the tallest structures in the Netherlands.
Rotterdam has a reputation in being a platform for architectural development and education through the Berlage Institute, a postgraduate laboratory of architecture, and the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), which is open to the public and has a variety of good exhibitions on architecture and urban planning issues.
Rotterdam is has a position in the best European SkylineTop together with Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Warsaw and Moscow. Over 30 new highrise projects are being developed at the moment.
Highrise buildings that are currently being built:
Rotterdam calls itself Sportstad (City of Sports). The city annually organises several world-renowned sporting events. Some examples are the Rotterdam Marathon, the World Port Tournament, and the Rotterdam World Tennis Tournament. Rotterdam also organises one race of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship and the car racing event Monaco aan de Maas (Monaco at the Meuse).
The city is also the home of many sports clubs and some historic and iconic athletes.
Rotterdam is the home of three professional football clubs, being first tier clubs Feyenoord, Excelsior and Sparta.
Feyenoord, founded in 1908 and the dominant of the three professional clubs, has won fifteen national titles since the introduction of professional football in the Netherlands. It won the European Cup (current Champions league) as the first Dutch club in 1970, and won the World Cup for club teams in the same year. In 1974, they were the first Dutch club to win the UEFA Cup and in 2002, Feyenoord won the UEFA Cup again. In 2008, the year of their 100-year-anniversary, Feyenoord won the KNVB-cup.
Seating 51,480, its 1931 stadium, called Stadion Feijenoord but popularly known as De Kuip ('the Tub'), is the second largest in the country, after the Amsterdam Arena. De Kuip, located in the southeast of the city, has hosted many international football games, including the final of Euro 2000 and has been awarded a FIFA 5 star ranking. There are concrete plans to build a new stadium with a capacity of at least 63,000 seats.
Sparta, founded in 1888 and situated in the northwest of Rotterdam, won the national title six times; Excelsior (founded 1902), in the northeast, has never won any.
Rotterdam also has three fourth tier clubs, SC Feijenoord (Feyenoord Amateurs), PVV DOTO and TOGR. Rotterdam is and has been the home to many great football players and coaches, among whom:
Rotterdam has its own annual international marathon, which offers one of the fastest courses in the world. From 1985 until 1998, the world record was set in Rotterdam, first by Carlos Lopes and later in 1988 by Belayneh Densamo.
In 1998, the world record for women was set by Tegla Loroupe, in a time of 2:20.47. Loroupe won the Rotterdam Marathon three consecutive times, from 1997 to 1999.
The current track record for men is held by Duncan Kibet, who ran a time of 2:04.27 in 2009. The female record was set in 2012, when Tiki Gelana finished the race in 2:18.58. Gelana went on to become the 2012 Olympic champion in London, a few months later.
The marathon starts and ends on the Coolsingel in the heart of Rotterdam. It attracts a total of 900.000 visitors.
Since 1972, Rotterdam hosts the indoor hard court ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, part of the ATP Tour. The event was first organised in 1972, when it was won by Arthur Ashe. Ashe went on to win the tournament two more times, making him the singles title record holder.
Former Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek became the tournament director after his retirement in 2000. The latest edition of the tournament attracted a total of 116.354 visitors.
In November 2008 Rotterdam was chosen as the host of the Grand Départ of the 2010 Tour de France. Rotterdam won the selection over the Dutch city of Utrecht. Germany's Düsseldorf had previously also expressed interest in hosting. The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), organizer of the Tour de France, said in a statement on its web site that it chose Rotterdam because, in addition to it being another big city, like London, to showcase the use of bikes for urban transportation, it provided a location well positioned considering the rest of the route envisioned for the 2010 event.
The start in Rotterdam was the fifth in the Netherlands. The prologue was a 7 km (4.35 mi) individual time trial crossing the centre of the city. The first regular stage left the Erasmusbrug and went south, towards Brussels.
Members of the student rowing club Skadi were part of the 'Holland Acht', winning a gold medal at the Olympics in 1996.. Since the opening in April 2013, Rotterdam hosts the rowing venue Willem-Alexander Baan that hosted the 2016 World Rowing Championships for Seniors, U23 and Juniors.
In field hockey, Rotterdam has the largest hockey club in the Netherlands, HC Rotterdam, with its own stadium in the north of the city and nearly 2,400 members. The first men's and women's teams both play on the highest level in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.
Rotterdam is home to the most successful European baseball team, Neptunus Rotterdam, winning the most European Cups.
Rotterdam has a long boxing tradition starting with Bep van Klaveren (1907–1992), aka 'The Dutch Windmill', Gold medal winner of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, followed by professional boxers like Regilio Tuur and Don Diego Poeder.
Rotterdam's swimming tradition started with Marie Braun aka Zus (sister) Braun, who was coached to a Gold medal at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics by her mother Ma Braun, and 3 European titles 3 years later in Paris. In her career as 14 time national champ, she broke 6 world records. Ma Braun later also coached the Rotterdam born, three-times Olympic champion Rie Mastenbroek during the Berlin Olympics in 1936. In later years Inge de Bruijn became a Rotterdam sport icon as triple Olympic Gold medal winner in 2000 and triple European Gold medal winner in 2001.
Motor cycle speedway was staged in the Feyenoord Stadium after the second world war. The team which raced in a Dutch league was known as the Feyenoord Tigers. The team included Dutch riders and some English and Australian riders.
Since 1986, the city has selected its best sportsman, woman and team at the Rotterdam Sports Awards Election, held in December.
Rotterdam hosts several annual events unique to the city. It hosts the Zomercarnaval (Summercarnaval), the second largest Caribbean carnival in Europe, originally called the Antillean carnival. Other events include: North Sea Jazz Festival, the largest Jazz festival in Europe, Bavaria City Race, a Formula 1 race inside the city center and a 3 day long maritime extravaganza called the World Port Days celebrating the Port of Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is well connected by international, national, regional and local public transport systems, as well as by the Dutch motorway network.
There are several motorways to/from Rotterdam. The following four are part of its 'Ring' (ring road):
The following two other motorways also serve Rotterdam:
Much smaller than the international hub Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly known as Zestienhoven) is the third largest airport in the country, behind Schiphol Airport and Eindhoven Airport. Located north of the city, it has shown a very strong growth over the past five years, mostly caused by the growth of the low-cost carrier market. For business travelers, Rotterdam The Hague Airport offers advantages in terms of rapid handling of passengers and baggage. Environmental regulations make further growth uncertain.
Rotterdam is well connected to the Dutch railway network, and has several international connections:
The main connections:
In Rotterdam, public transport services are provided by the following companies:
In 1968, Rotterdam was the first Dutch city to open a metro system. Currently the metro system consists of three main lines, each of which has its own variants. The metro network has 78.3 km (48.7 mi) of railtracks and there are 62 stations, which makes it the biggest of the Benelux. The system is operated by 5 lines; 3 lines (A, B and C) on the east-west line, and two (D and E) on the north-south line. Line E (Randstadrail) connects Rotterdam with The Hague as of December 2011.
|Line||Southern / western terminus||Northern / eastern terminus|
|Line A||Schiedam Centrum||Binnenhof|
|Line B||Schiedam Centrum||Nesselande|
|Line C||De Akkers||De Terp|
|Line D||De Akkers||Rotterdam Centraal|
|Line E||Slinge||Den Haag Centraal|
The Rotterdam tramway network offers 9 regular tram lines and 4 special tram lines with a total length of 93.4 km (58.0 mi). Service Tramlines in Rotterdam as of 2016:
Special tram lines:
Rotterdam offers 55 city bus lines with a total length of 432.7 km (268.9 mi).
RET runs buses in the city of Rotterdam and surrounding places like Spijkenisse, Barendrecht, Ridderkerk, Rhoon, Poortugaal, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Delft and Capelle aan den IJssel. .
Arriva Netherlands, Connexxion and Veolia run buses from other cities to Rotterdam.
The Waterbus network consists of seven lines. The main line (Line 20) stretches from Rotterdam to Dordrecht. The ferry carries about 130 passengers and there is space for 60 bicycles. The stops between Rotterdam and Dordrecht are:
Rotterdam has city and port connections throughout the world. In 2008, the city had 13 sister cities, 12 partner cities, and 4 sister ports. Since 2008, the City of Rotterdam doesn't forge new sister or partner connections. Sister and partner cities are not a priority in international relations.
On March 15th, 2017 the Turkish president expressed his wish that Istanbul should no longer be the twin town of Rotterdam. A speaker of the Rotterdam municipality then explained that the two cities have no official partnership. Both authorities do cooperate often.
Rotterdam is twinned with:
Rotterdam features in Edgar Allan Poe's short story ‘The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall’ (1835), as well as J.T. Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter' (1839).
Part of Jackie Chan's 1998 film 'Who am I?' is set in Rotterdam.
Ender's Shadow, part of the series Ender's Game is partially set in Rotterdam.
In season 1, episode 2 of The Golden Girls ("Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding?"), Dorothy reminisces how her ex-husband, Stan, would buy her tulips after they had a fight. "Towards the end, our house looked like Easter in Rotterdam."
In 1996, the British band The Beautiful South recorded a song named after this region titled Rotterdam (or Anywhere).,
The 2017 Olivier award winning play, Rotterdam, written by Jon Brittain, is set in the city.
De Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag is het gebied dat nu de huidige stadregio’s Rotterdam en Haaglanden omvat. Binnen dat gebied gaan de 24 gemeenten hun krachten bundelen in het samenwerkingsverband Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag om de internationale concurrentiepositie van de regio te versterken. De Metropoolregio regio heeft 2,2 miljoen inwoners.
"Rotterdam port: Gateway to Europe" (p.151)
|url=value (help). Timeshighereducation.co.uk. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
|url=value (help) (PDF) (PDF) (in Dutch). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: City of Rotterdam. 2008. p. 37. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
|World Gymnaestrada host city
Zagreb, Yugoslavia (1957)
|Westland, Maassluis, Vlaardingen, Schiedam, Delft||Pijnacker-Nootdorp, Lansingerland||Zuidplas|
|North Sea||Capelle aan den IJssel
Krimpen aan den IJssel
|Westvoorne, Brielle, Bernisse||Spijkenisse, Albrandswaard, Barendrecht||Ridderkerk|
Municipalities of South Holland
European Capitals of Culture
European Capitals of Sport
European Youth Capitals