Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rotterdam places of pilgrimage - 7

Previous parts of this series are here:  part 0, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.
The map belonging to this series is here.

Recently I found the Rotterdam Visitor: Summer & Fall 2017 Free City Guide That advertises itself as All you need to know about our city. It is a solid brochure that combines information and commerce without being irritating. In the middle of the brochure is a map with Rotterdam highlights.
The highlights are as follows and I totally agree with them. If you're a tourist visiting Rotterdam these are the places you will be most interested in. I think you could manage these sights in two to three days:
  •  Highlights: Market Hall - Lawrence Church - Cube Houses - Euromast - Central Station -  Erasmus Bridge - SS Rotterdam - Spido - Harbour
  • Nature in the city: The Park - Kralingse forest - Vroesenpark
  • Museums: Boijmans van Beuningen - Museum Rotterdam - Maritiem Museum - Wereldmuseum - Kunsthal
  • Meet the street: Schouwburgplein - Karel Doormanstraat - Hofbogen - Zwaanshals & Zaagmolenkade - Pannekoekstraat & Botersloot - Hoogstraat & Binnenrotte - Binnenweg - Witte de Withstraat - Oude Haven - Historisch Delfshaven - Wilhelminapier & Kop van Zuid - Deliplein
  • Shopping: De Koopgoot - De Bijenkorf - Van Oldenbarneveltstraat - Lijnbaan
  • Rotterdam tourist information: Central Station - Coolsingel
I know all of these places except the SS Rotterdam. I never understood the attraction of that almost failed project. When you mark these areas on the map you get the picture above. I'm pleased to see that many of my places of pilgrimage fall outside the marked area. But many still fall within the marked area! I will have to work harder.
The brochure also contains one of the shortest summaries of the history of Rotterdam:
Rotterdam - Was founded in 1270 - Became an official city in 1340 - Owes its name to the river Rotte - Has over 600.000 inhabitants - Has the largest port in Europe - Was bombed on May 14 1940 - Second largest city of the Netherlands 
History of Rotterdam - The history of Rotterdam goes back about nine centuries. In the 12th century a seawall was built to protect the country from the North Sea, which had free movement in the mouth of the river Maas. This dike - the Schielands High Sea Wall - ran from the Westzeedijk to the Schiedamsedijk via the Hoogstraat to the Oostzeedijk and the Groenedijk. Mid 13th century a dam was placed in the Rotta where the Hoogstraat and the river cross. Around this dam a settlement of fishermen emerges. Soon trade flourishes and the first ports come into existence, such as the Oude Haven and the Haringvliet. In 1340 Rotterdam is granted the status of 'city'. Canals are dug and in 1360 a city wall is being built. The Port city of Rotterdam is born! 
16th century - Rotterdam rebels against the Spanish occupiers. The city is expanding with new ports and defence mechanisms. Rotterdam is growing as a port and commercial city. 
17th century - Trade flourishes under the influence of the East Indian Company (1602) and West Indian Company (1621) and the Merchant Adventures (1935). The growing city with its tolerant governance attracts scientists and philosophers from all over Europe. The printing & publishing industry flourishes. 
18th century - Stagnation. The country is overshadowed by England and later France. 
19th century - Under influence of the industrialization trade with Britain and America grows and the exploration of Africa increases. The city is growing. Businessman and politician Lodewijk Pincoffs and city architect G. de Jongh play an important role in developing the city. 
20th century - WW I brings stagnation and economic crisis. WW II brings a.o. the bombing. After 1950, the city ascends. Reconstruction sets in, the port expands and the industry grows. 
21st century - The city is blooming! The New York Times proclaims Rotterdam no. 10 of Places to Go!

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