Rotterdam is a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. The Maritime Museum’s vintage ships and exhibits trace the city’s seafaring history. The 17th-century Delfshaven neighbourhood is home to Canalside shopping and Pilgrim Fathers Church, where pilgrims worshipped before sailing to America. After being almost completely reconstructed following WWII, the city is now known for bold, modern architecture, major European port and second-largest city of the Netherlands. It lies about 19 miles (30 km) from the North Sea, to which it is linked by a canal called the New Waterway. The city lies along both banks of the New Meuse (Nieuwe Maas) River, which is a northern distributary of the Rhine River.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Rotterdam was founded in the mid-13th century after a dam had been constructed in the river Rotte on the site of the present Hoogstraat. Rotterdam received municipal rights in 1340 and over the centuries Rotterdam grew from a fishing village into an international centre of trade, transport, industry and distribution. Rotterdam has a rich cultural scene centred largely around the cultural axis between Museumpark and Witte de Withstraat. The area includes acclaimed museums like Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, The New Institute and the Kunsthal, presenting a widely varied range of art exhibitions. Rotterdam has three main Orthodox church communities: The Russian Orthodox Church dedicated to the Holy and Right-Believing Prince Alexander Nevsky. The Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity. The Greek Orthodox church dedicated to St Nicholas.
Brief City History
It’s hard to imagine so today, but less than 100 years ago Rotterdam was a city much like Amsterdam, with charming canals flanked by stately mansions. It has been said that in the Golden Age (17th century) 010 (the area code for Rotterdam and how the locals refer to their city) was unrivalled in terms of its atmosphere, vigour, and prosperity. You would be hard-pressed to find a Rotterdammer who hasn’t wondered how the city might look today had it not been for the devastating bombardment of 1940. Would it be just like Amsterdam, where hordes of tourists are seen every day strolling around and exploring its historic streets and canals? Most likely yes. On 14 May 1940 at the beginning of WWII, German bombers completely destroyed Rotterdam’s centre in an attack that barely lasted 15 minutes. It was days before all the fires could be extinguished. Once they had, all that remained was a smoking void. The nearby neighbourhoods of Kralingen, Crooswijk, and Oude Noorden were also severely damaged. Around 850 residents were killed during the bombardment and 80,000 became instantly homeless. Around 25,000 homes and a further 11,000 buildings were completely destroyed. Included in those statistics were 26 hotels, 117 pensions, 44 lodgings, 31 department stores, at least 2300 shops, 31 factories, 1319 places of employment, 675 warehouses, 1437 offices, 13 banks, 19 consulates, 69 schools, 13 hospitals, 24 churches, four train stations, two museums, around 500 cafés and restaurants, 12 cinemas – all gone in an instant. In total around 250 hectares of the cityscape disappeared; 252 streets and their buildings simply vanished. In 1943, the city suffered another heavy bombardment, this time from American fighters flying across from England. Sixteen thousand people were again made homeless and 10 hectares of built-up area destroyed. That was the final blow for the city that had been recognized for hundreds of years as a historical stronghold of freethinkers. A tolerant place where great thinkers, philosophers, and scientists felt at home, and an effortless place for ships to sail into with its accessible harbours. In the 17th century Rotterdam was an affluent merchant city with busy quays and a profusion of shops. With the trade came money and influence. Even before the Golden Age Rotterdam had made its mark on the map. Its many printing and publishing houses attracted scientists and scholars from everywhere. The most famous of them is Rotterdam’s own, Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536), the namesake of the city’s university. Miraculously, the Laurenskerk, in front of the bronze statue of the sage, survived the bombing for the most part. Wijde Kerkstraat, the street Erasmus was born in, also exists to this day, although is now an unremarkable narrow alleyway running between new apartment buildings.
If you search you can still find remnants of Rotterdam’s historic past in amongst the modern buildings and harbour developments. The 17th century Schielandshuis is one of them, standing proud alongside the shiny new buildings surrounding it. The almost 100-year-old library building on the Nieuwemarkt is another.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Language Spoken in Rotterdam Dutch language is a West Germanic language and closely related to German and English.
Important Types of Commerce in Rotterdam.
Major industries included textiles and (later) the great Philips industrial conglomerate. Rotterdam became a major shipping and manufacturing centre. Poverty slowly declined and begging largely disappeared along with steadily improving working conditions for the population.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Rotterdam.
Brochure, website, pamphlet, business card and important business literature with Dutch translation will impress a Rotterdam business person. Certified translation creates a legally binding record recognized by Rotterdam directories, ministries, officials, courts and academic universities and institutions. All documents should also be translated into Dutch to be considered by the ministry of foreign affairs in the company’s country of origin, and the Rotterdam ministry of foreign affairs.
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