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Rotterdam (Netherlands)


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Rotterdam is the second largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam. It is most famous for its harbour. The city centre was largely destroyed during World War II, so the down-town areas are a mix of unimpressive post-war construction and modern redevelopments, with a rare historical building here and there. Population is approx. 600.000, but can be considered to be up to two million for the metropolitan area depending on how it is defined.

The most interesting urban developments that are currently under construction:


The HSL is a high-speed railway extension of the Paris-Brussels Thalys branch, stopping at Antwerp, Breda, Rotterdam, Schiphol airport and finally Amsterdam. The HSL will bring Rotterdam within 16 minutes of Schiphol and within 35 minutes of Amsterdam, almost cutting travel times in half. Obviously Belgium and Paris will also be a lot closer. The HSL will not stop in The Hague, unlike the current Thalys. The HSL should open in April 2007.


The Hague is however getting light rail into its city centre, with two trams branches to be connected to converted railways towards Zoetermeer (2006). Another branch will run over new infrastructure in the centre and then follows another old railway south to Rotterdam where it hooks up to the existing underground (2008).

Central Station

The current central station in Rotterdam dates back to the 1950s and is, simply put, dated. It's too small and already struggling to handle capacities. A new central station is finally being developed and will hopefully open its door no later than 2009.

New station hall (image a bit too large to be included inline)

Download a video impression of the new station.


For its size the city has a lot of scrapers (by far more than any other Dutch city) but real heights are not to be found in the Netherlands. Rotterdam's tallest skyscraper currently is a 151.30m one (496ft). Plans for taller buildings have existed but none of them made their way through, although a residential building close to 500ft is being constructed at a pier on the south bank of the Maas river, an area destined to extend the city centre traditionally found on the north bank. Despite the cancellation of some beautiful plans, skyscrapers around 500ft are still being proposed and it should really not be long now to break that number.

I'll post some skyline pictures when I've organised my photo album a bit more and found a new reliable place to store pictures on-line.

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I'll post some skyline pictures when I've organised my photo album a bit more and found a new reliable place to store pictures on-line.


Looking forward to it. Many people here use PhotoBucket which has a generous amount of free storage.

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Here's an old picture (Feb 16 2003) I took, most of my photography is on my workstation which I hardly ever use now that I have a laptop.

It's a picture of the two city bridges and two office scrapers on a pier on the south bank of the river. Historically the city centre has always exclusively been north of the river, but by building the Erasmusbridge and redeveloping the south bank the city has been changing that.

From left to right: Willemsbrug (65m/213ft), Toren op Zuid (96m/316ft), World Port Center (123m/406ft), Erasmusbrug (139m/456ft).


A residential tower named Montevideo is currently under construction parallel to the second tower on the far end of the pier. It has recently reached its full height of 139m/457ft. Five more residential towers are planned on the pier, 3x 70m/229ft and 2x 150m/492ft. Slightly to the left on the south bank an office tower of 160m /525ft is being planned, which will be the new tallest building in the Netherlands.

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I wouldn't call it a typical bridge city, there are only two city bridges across the river (the other city link is a tunnel and the ring has a tunnel on the west and a massive bridge on the east). The river and harbor (might as well go for American spelling on this forum, right?) history are very prominent though, so it's not your typical land locked city either. Various small bridges can be found across the city near canals, but not quite as many as in Amsterdam because Rotterdam removed most of its canals to improve infrastructure - a work in progress already prior to the WW2 bombings.

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^^ I have smoked a lot of pot but I stopped a couple of weeks ago - so in this recent picture that's just Camel. Cigarettes are handled with discipline though: around one/two packs a month at maximum as I promised myself not to smoke at home or work, only on holidays or special occasions.

Transavia.com has Gardermoern-Rotterdam flights starting at ~EUR80 (return-trip, inclusive of taxes), that's around NOK700 I think: quite reasonable!

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interesting. I shall go there during my next visit.

if I were a typical norwegian I would think you were smoking weed on your picture. Now isnt that just stereotypical. I bet it's not like that in the netherland, now is it? tell me more.

It's not like that at all. In the Netherlands, "only" 17% of the population has ever smoked weed.

This percentage is far higher in the U.K., Australia, the U.S., and Canada, where it is all around 34%.

A lot of Northwestern-European people tend to drink a lot of alcohol though, with the Irish, English, Dutch, Danes and Scandinavians being the heaviest drinkers.

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