This is the oldest statue in the Netherlands!
It stands at Grote Kerkplein, just a stone’s throw from the Laurens church.
The philosopher Erasmus was born in Rotterdam around 1468. If you are interested in learning more about Erasmus, I recommend you a visit at the Erasmus House, located just behind the statue.
Historic ships contrast beautifully with the modern backdrop of the Oudehaven. This is where the first skyscraper in Europe was built in 1898: the White House by architect W. Molenhoek.
In summertime, the pavement cafés are packed until late at night. Even when the weather is colder, the Oudehaven is a popular entertainment area with the locals for wining, dinning and dancing.
I had a delicious salad at Kade 4 (www.kade4.nl) Even when it’s cold you are able to eat outside cause their terrace is heat by heaters.
Dutch contemporary architecture has a reputation of being amongst the finest in Europe. Rotterdam is a good place to discover it. Unlike Amsterdam, where you will see very few skyscrapers, Rotterdam is developping an American style Skyline.
There are few remains, though, from ancient architecture: the most important one and landmark of the city is this white building that stands in the old harbour. It is in fact known as the "white House" (Het Witte Huis) and it used to be the tallest skyscraper in the Netherlands. Before the war, that is.
Called "The Destroyed City" and made by the Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine it was built to remember the Second World War and the destruction of Rotterdam. In the middle of the sculpture you see a hole with symbolizes the center/heart of Rotterdam, which was completely destroyed during the war.
Zadkine created his monument in France, then it was brought to Holland and paid for it by The Bijenkorf under one condition, the sculpture would never be removed from the place where it is now in front of the Maritime Museum!
Favorite thing: In Dutch this sculpture is called “De Boeg”, which means The Bow- the front of the ship. It is built to remember the seamen who died in the Second World War. You can easily find the sculpture right by the water on your way to the “Spido” cruise.
This statue was changed three times and removed even more. First made of wood (1549) it was replaced by a stone one in 1577, and in 1622 it is made of bronze. It is the oldest statue in the Netherlands and even was the only statue in the country for some period of time.
From 1622 till 1940 the statue was placed in the Grote Markt. During the WWII it was safely put away. From 1945 till 1963 it was at the Coolsingel and since 1964 until today it stands infront of the St. Laurenskerk.
About a great Dutch Traveller...
Erasmus (1469-1536) was one of the greatest scholar of all times, he was called Prince of the Humanists and lived at the time of the Renaissance. He spent his youth in Holland, experimented miserable days as a student at the University in Paris, stayed in England (Oxford and Cambridge) as a student and as a professor. He visited Italy many times and he became Charles V's councilor in the Low Countries, a function that brought him to Antwerpen, Brugge, Gent, Brussels, Leuven, Mechelen, Anderlecht. For the last years of his life he settled in Basel where he fully enjoyed the consecration of his fame.
Favorite thing: Because the biggest part of Rotterdam was bombed during WW II Rotterdam is rebuild and has a very modern and high tech architecture. Rotterdam is the place for foreign directors and filmmakers to shoot their movie because it's still fresh and a lot easier to get permission etc.
Statue of Erasmus, reading his books and ignorant to all that pass by or pose at his feet '-)
He stands in front of the Saint Laurens church.