The L IJ N B A A N you can find right in the centre of Rotterdam and got its name from the rope-walk (going back in times until about 1670!). You can do your shopping here in a very pleasant way ...
It is like a promenade, so there is no traffic and the open passage offers you nice windows at both sides. The L IJ N B A A N got a lot of excellent shops with trendy stuff. Because of the many parking places around a lot of people out of town come here, also in the weekend and the Friday evening (late shopping night).
Because of the L IJ N B A A N and some other important cases Rotterdam turned into a metropolitan city, and the biggest harbour of the world still growing. The Hague is smaller, included of an intimate character and royal behaviour. Although Rotterdam is more international ...
Rotterdam's Town hall (Stadhuis) you'll find at the Coolsingel. It is designed by Prof. Dr. Henri Evers and the first start was at 1914. The classical Stadhuis was completed at August 10th 1920, and survived the terrible bombardment of World War II.
The older Rotterdam people do speak about "Guest house" when talking about the Stadhuis and see the link for some stunning old photographs ...
There are some different departments and it is possible to get a guided tour (just make a phonecall). To the most people the Stadhuis brings back good memories of famous people appearing and glittering on the balcony for thousands and thousands of flowing people ...
(photograph taken on one day when girl-powers pop group K6 appeared)
The « Koopvardijmonument » is better known as « De boeg » and is dedicated to the approximately 3500 vicitms of the mercantile marine who died during WWII. Rotterdam’s harbour was severely destroyed by the Germans as well as later by the allies during the liberation. Approximately 500 civil ships were sunk in this period. “De boeg” was finished in 1957, a small group of bronze figures, standing next to the monument, was added in 1965. By the way, “boeg” is the dutch word for the nautical expression “bow”.
As a modern city, Rotterdam is proud of having a picasso sculpture. But this wasn't always so, as many discussions took place before the sculpture found its place in the city. Sylvette, a girl who became the "muse" of Pablo Picasso in his late period, is the title of this sculpture. It was made in partnership by Pablo Picasso and the norwegian artist Carl Nesjar. The sculpture was unveiled in 1970, and for many years it stood close to the central station at the crossing of Weena and Kruisplein. Standing in the shadow of a skyscraper, somewhere under the tree, it was decided to look for a new place. Shortly before the big hole in front of the central station was digged, the sculpture moved to its current place.
It was in the late 20th century when Rotterdam became what is called “Manhattan aan de Maas”. But already in the 1950s, some unusual buildings appeared in Rotterdam. First, the shops at the Lijnbaan which were incorporated in a new kind of pedestrian zone which was copied all over the world. But also the building of the Bijenkorf department store. It can be seen as a little sister to the UNESCO building in Paris. Both were designed by the same architect (Marcel Breuer) at the same time. Today, it does not look very shining compared to other buildings in Rotterdam. But its unusual façade with its hexagonal structures (Bijenkorf is dutch for beehive) and its dark structures on the brighter background will make you look twice.
The sculpture to the right was made by artist Naum Gabo in the 1950s. It has earned many nicknames - in a positive and negative way.
This modern sculpture by Auke de Vries was revealed in 1981 after the opening of the Willemsbrug. It connected the new bridge which was pulled down in 1993. One of this bridge’s bases was preserved only for this sculpture. The Maasbeeld consists of a steel cable with several items (flag, ball, etc.) hanging down from it. That gave it the nickname “waslijn” (laundry line). The Maasbeld is subject to the power of natures: The water of the Nieuwe Maas and the wind. These are also symbol for the sea trade – the factor which powers Rotterdam.
Known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, this humanist of the 15th and 16th century is the most famous person connected with Rotterdam. His works are seen as far ahead of his time, especially regarding his thoughts on tolerance and acceptance of other religions and cultures. Erasmus had a large influence on what later would be called the Protestant Reformation. Although he lived only for a short time in Rotterdam, he added the element “Roterodamus” (of Rotterdam) to his name, making himself the city’s most famous child. One of his most famous quotations goes like this: “When I have money, I spend it for books. If I still have some, I spend it for food and clothing”. Some 500 years later, a bloody tourist picked it up, altered it and used it for his own purposes. Other honours include the Erasmusbrug, Erasmus University and Erasmuslijn (metro line). Also, the student exchange program of the European Union was named after him.
The statue of Erasmus is the oldest statue in Rotterdam. It was revealed in 1622, replacing an older, wooden one. The statue stood on several places in Rotterdam after finding its current place in front of the Sint Laurenskerk.
This new stock exchange and conference center was built after WWII, replacing a predecessor building. The first Rotterdam Beurs dates back to 1598 and has only little to do with today’s sykscraper. The eliptical tower, the best-known part of this complex, was inaugurated in 1987. It has a height of 93 meters.
The statue in the entrance is the one of Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp. He was a famous lawyer, a conservative politician and one of the fathers of the new dutch constitution of 1815.
Along the Boopjeskaden, there are couple of smaller attarctions to see: The Flag parade, the Boompjes skyscrapers and the modern sculpture “de waslijn” (Maasbeeld). I would like to add also the “Maquette Oude Maasbruggen”. This scaled model gives you an impression of how the river Nieuwe Maas looked like before the old train bridge was pulled down in 1993. Just look through a small telescope which is adjusted nearby. The maquette represents a short part of the former train bridge which was pulled down. For more information about this bridge, look for my tip about “De Hef”.
An interesting kind of city square can be found at Schouwburgplein. It was designed in the 1960s anf finished in the early 1990s with assistance by a group of several artists. It is a reflection of Rotterdam’s harbour with the open space symbolizing the water and four “cranes” used for illumination as harbour structure. The floor of this square consists of wooden and metal matels which can be brought to different heights, creating different sized “stages” on that square. The “cranes” can be moved by ordinary people like you and me, although the control panels are often subject to vandalism. This makes Schouwburgplein a popular place for open-air events of all kinds. The most important buildings around Schouwburgplein are the “Pathé” megabioscoop (large cinema), “De Doelen” (concert hall and congress center) and a parking garage which is directly unter the square. Restaurants and even appartment houses are also found around this square.
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