4-24-19 Rotterdam

It may be the Netherlands’ second city, but the giant port of Rotterdam is a world capital when it comes to architecture. Unfortunately, during WWII virtually the entire old section of the city was destroyed leaving only 3 or 4 historical structures intact. As a result, the City has been rebuilt with surprising results. Some are ultra modern while others more traditional.

Our walking tour left the dockside area and headed into the main section of the Town. Our first stop was to view the White House (Witte Huis),

The White House – Netherlands skyscraper

which was constructed in 1897 to 1898 in an attempt to follow innovations being done in the US. This building survived WWII and is 45 meters high and is considered to be the Netherlands’ first ‘skyscraper’ and for many years was the tallest office building in Europe.

Espalier trees – we have seen these in lots of places throughout Europe

Moving along we visited the Cube Houses.

Proof we were there!

Built between 1982 and 1984 the Cube Houses offered an innovative living experience. The Cube Houses consist of 40 small homes shaped like tilted cubes each perched on a concrete pillar giving the impression of architectural ‘trees’ clustered together to make a forest.

Cube Houses

Each cube is about 1,000 square feet but certainly a different style.

Our walking tour included the Market Hall.

Market Hall – shops on the ground and apartments throughout the building.

Having been in a number of City Markets, the Market Hall wasn’t anything similar to what we have seen in the other areas of Europe.

Spices! Lovely sight and tastes
I just had to take this picture – lots of nuts

This large inverted U shaped building has a very large central area with an art covered  ceiling and is filled with various shops ranging from food, gifts and other items available. Our first stop was a shop to taste Stroopwafel – a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle.

The making of stroopwafels
A plate of stroopwafels

Very tasty for sure. Next stop Dutch cheese. Henri Willig Cheese – a family operated cheese shop started in 1974 and available throughout the Netherlands.

Janeen checking out the Cheese & More
Cheese and More!

We say this cheese throughout Amsterdam but never stopped in. This place produces a number of Gouda products and we ended up buying a couple of Sheep Cheese Gouda’s extra Old and Baby Sheep. Hopefully these will stay sealed and we can get them back home without a problem.

One of the other buildings that mostly survived the war and the city’s only example of Gothic architecture is the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk.

Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk

Built between 1449 and 1525 it of course started out as a Roman Catholic Church and after the reformation became Protestant.

A light ship part of the maritime museum but now a restaurant.

For centuries Rotterdam has been a major port. To commemorate this, the Maritime Museum was developed and has a collection of vintage ships and exhibits tracing much of this history.

Maritime dock area with equipment saved for history.

All in all a lovely collection of shipping history.

 

 

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