Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rotterdam - Places of pilgrimage

Rotterdam is the ultimate unromantic city. It has always been an industrial city. It was bombed in the war. And it was disastrously rebuilt afterwards. It is very difficult to find places with atmosphere where you can charge your internal batteries with "unmediated cosmic energy" (see: Nick Papadimitriou).

But I'm making an effort to find and map them. This is a work in progress. Many places are missing from the list. Some places maybe don't deserve a place on the list. The list with change with time.

It is an experiment. See if I can become friends with a difficult city. I'm partly friends with it already, but maybe we can formalize the relationship.

What are the places in Rotterdam that are worth visiting many times. Places that you should invest time in. Places that will return the energy you invest in them.

I have photographs of all of them and I will post these in due course. But first I will leave it to your imagination:
  1. The air-traffic beacon and the strange UFO-like appliance at the Wildersekade.
  2. The hill, church and graveyard of Hillegersberg, dating back to prehistory.
  3. The Melanchton city park, that looks and feels like a London park.
  4. The modern abstract observatorium along the highway.
  5. The surreal sculpture in the Alexanderpark.
  6. The back-entrance gate to the Crooswijk graveyard.
  7. The book-window in the Rodenrijselaan.
  8. The 19th century jail at the Noordsingel.
  9. The catholic Maria chapel in De Steiger at De Hang.
  10. The pool at the Vijverweg surrounded by old buildings and a church.
  11. The modern buildings enclosing a strange space along an old harbour at the Buizenwerf.
  12. The doomed area at the Oude Plantage that someone had a dream about.
  13. The arch and park benches overlooking the river at the Buitenbassinweg.
  14. The semi wetland wilderness along the river beneath the Nesserdijk.
  15. The semi wetland wilderness of the Island of Brienenoord and the concrete basin.
  16. The old church of Overschie at the Kasteelweg, with the grave and urn.
  17. The view from the Stadionviaduct.
  18. The whole island of the Noordereiland, but especially the area around the old bridges.
  19. The strange "witch hat" building in the Joubertstraat and the old dyke nearby along the Brede Hilledijk.
  20. The last remaining scrap iron yards and ship repair shops around Maashaven Zuidzijde.
  21. The children's home from 1880 and the adjoining "Lovecraftian" church.
  22. The Veerkade and the square in front of the anthropology museum.
  23. The Parklaan with the trees lanes and the fountain with the inscription "The mushrooms".
  24. The Zocher park beneath the Euromast.
  25. The ventilation buildings of the Maastunnel.
  26. The whole of old Delfshaven.
  27. The old village square of Oud-Charlois left in the middle of industry.
Not included in the map, to be included in a future edition:
  • The Hoflaankerk.
  • The memorial under the Oostzeedijk.
  • The angel of the apocalypse.
  • The brewery face.
  • The 16th century houses that survived the bombardment.
  • The Paris-like bench in Katendrecht overlooking the river.
  • The weird door sculpture in Katendrecht.
  • The brick chimneys, several of them.
  • Behind the airport.
  • The dark church with somber Christ mosaic.


  1. May I add...,4.487322&spn=0.000471,0.000603&t=h&z=21,4.449806&spn=0.001331,0.002411&t=h&z=19,4.417512&spn=0.001884,0.002411&t=h&z=19 (inside the abandoned building, not outside, not in the ones already converted)

    At night:,4.334321&spn=0.005331,0.009645&t=h&z=17,4.020663&spn=0.002661,0.004823&t=h&z=18

    Definitely difficult places but they do generate a lot of energy.

    Also: Maashaven zz is a very hallowed place indeed.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I know some of your places but not all. I will include them in the next update of this series.
    Do you have a blog, flickr or something? Are you an urban explorer, psychogeographer or ...

  3. Sorry, forgot to check back here and have been very busy as of late. Yes, I used to run a weblog at As for my interests: you could call me an urban explorer, and I'm in the happy position of getting paid for my explorations.

    I saw your third update. Indeed, a pattern seems to emerge. I will head south for a long exploration in few weeks time and will report back with places that you may find interesting for the map. The South can be a pretty intense site.