Rotterdam Stories and Tips

Rotterdam: Modern City (cranescape)

reflections Photo, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam is primarily a modern city - often also an experimental modern city. It's a city in the making, an everchanging city. And local people love it for that - they especially love the sight of the many building cranes scattered all over and around. I asked my friend to expain why - he said they show that the city`s alive and growing.

What is there to see? The tall pillar (euromaast) might not be a wonderful sight in itself, but it's a good landmark when one gets lost. One can ride the elevator to the top and enjoy great views both on the the city and the busy port. Then there are the cube houses, a row of elevated yellow cubical houses (all inhabited except one that's a museum - and opened to the public) designed by the Dutch architect Piet Blom: not only their shape is different, they are also turned 90 degrees on their own axis. They are located in the Oude Haven area (subway: blaak) and definitely worth a visit.

Finally there is Rotterdam's true symbol, the strange, yet gracious Erasmus Bridge. It was designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Berkel in 1997 and it`s an interesting piece of architecture that looks like... no one really knows what. I asked many people: some suggested a harp, others a viking ship, others again a swan. I don't know which of these theories is actually the most accurate one, if ever there's any - what they have in common is that all of them bear no connection whatsoever to Dutch life or history. Whatever it's meant to represent, its sight is beautiful, especially at dusk: its outline, then, seems particularily fragile and delicate.

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