Probably the most significant museum in the city, with excellent collections of classic and modern art.... Old and new masters can be found side by side under one roof. Walking around the rooms of the museum is like a taking a time trip through the history of art and provides a comprehensive overview of European art. It ranges from the darkness of the Middle Ages to the present day.
Exhibits in the old gallery include works by Pieter Brueghel the Elder ("De Toren van Babel“), Rembrandt ("Titus") and Hieronymus Bosch. Impressionism and Surrealism are represented by Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, René Magritte and Piet Mondriaan. There are also numerous works by fine artists, designers and graphic artists. Temporary exhibitions offer contemporary (inter)national artists a platform for a wide range of art.more
The visually traditional, but technically ultramodern brick-lined windmill De Nolet, whose powerful sails... have been rotating in Schiedam on Rotterdam’s western city limit since 3 March 2006, is proof that the era of nostalgic windmills in the Netherlands is far from over. Together with four older, unusually tall windmills that used to grind malt for distilleries and flour for bakeries, they provide distinction to the skyline of Schiedam, which can be reached from Rotterdam via the subway. With a canopy that can rotate 360°, the imposing new mill, at just under 141 ft (43 m) tall, is currently the tallest windmill in the world and produces energy for a distillery via its function as a wind turbine that has been perfectly incorporated into the landscape of southern Holland. De Nolet can be viewed as part of a tour of the distillery.more
Although Breda is one of the most important industrial centres in the Netherlands, you need not be afraid... that you will be in the midst of huge factories and grey concrete blocks of buildings. Thanks to the fact that the city has been the residence of the house of Nassau since 1402, it has retained its historical splendour to the present day.
The buildings in the harbour area are particularly beautiful even although the harbour basin was partially silted up in the 1960s. There are also impressive buildings surrounding the Grote Markt. With its 97 m high tower, the Grote Kerk built in the style of Brabant Gothic cannot be overlooked. Count Engelbrecht II of Nassau is buried here with his wife in a stately Renaissance tomb of alabaster. An interesting detail in the interior are the late Gothic choir stalls. The masterfully carved scenes represent disparagement of the clergy. Not far from the church is the Raadhuis (town hall). Three houses next to each other are concealed behind the simple facade. In the 18th century, the architect of the ruling family came up with the idea of combining them into one unit.more
The Delta Plan, the most spectacular flood-control project in the Netherlands, which took more than 30... years to complete and swallowed up more than 13 billion guilders, is a brilliant architectural feat. To prevent any further recurrence of such natural catastrophes as the dreadful flood of 1953 which claimed more than 1,800 lives and inundated a large part of the Zeeland province, the coastline was shortened by several hundred kilometres by building dams and artificial islands. Rivers were diverted or closed off. A gigantic project in which every effort has been made to keep the consequences of such a massive interference in the natural surroundings on flora and fauna to an absolute minimum. Today this area has the purest water in the Netherlands. The most varied types of water fowl live here although surfers and divers also help to populate this section of the coast.
The Delta Expo exhibition in Deltapark on the man-made island of Neeltje Jans provides detailed information on this impressive construction and centuries of struggles against the sea.more
Nearly all of Middelburg's beautiful old merchant homes and townhouses were destroyed by German air raids... in 1940. Yet the entire complex was placed under national trust as a monument in 1975 after it had been rebuilt. With its canals built in a star shape, cobbled streets and cosy cafés, Middelburg has long since regained its role as the centre of life in Zeeland.
One of the restored buildings is the Stadhuis on the historical market square. This magnificent town hall was built in Flemish Gothic style. This building is one of the most imposing secular edifices in the country. Even today, its windows are protected during storms by the typical red and white shutters. If you want to enjoy the most important sights of Walcheren Island in Zeeland all at once, you should take a look at Miniatuur Walcheren. This miniature model of the island on a scale of 1:20 is in a park covering more than 7,000 km2.more
With a wealth of churches, Roermond is the spiritual centre of Limburg. But this episcopal town is also... characterised by numerous statues and pictures of saints. The town centre is picturesque and still exudes the typical charm and atmosphere of an old provincial Limburg town despite the severe damage it suffered during the Second World War.
The Munsterkerk is the best preserved of the remains of the former Cistercian monastery which was destroyed by French troops in 1797. This church building is regarded as an excellent example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture in the Rhine and Maas cultural region. Next to the church stands a monument to the celebrated Roermond architect P. J. H. Cuypers, who not only designed the four towers of the minster but also the famous Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.more
Located at an important junction on the routes between Rotterdam and Germany's Ruhr District, Venlo is... not only attractive for major trading companies but is also a popular shopping mecca for its European neighbours who, amongst other things, greatly appreciate the excellent fresh vegetables from the surrounding markets. The heavily fortified border town of the past also has a lot of sights to offer, including a town hall in Renaissance style, an interesting local history museum and amazing choir stalls in the St. Martinuskerk.
Nevertheless, most visitors are drawn to the nearby park belonging to the moated castle of Arcen, in which some 20,000 roses, more than a million spring-flowering bulbs and an additional 150,000 plants display their greenery and their blooms on an area covering 25 ha. On top of that, there are greenhouses full of subtropical plants. There is also a Chinese and a Japanese garden.more
A harbour tour is a must on a visit to Rotterdam. The 75-minute tour crosses the world harbour past giant... container terminals, dry docks and shipyards. It also offers views of the impressive Rotterdam skyline from the water, you are right in the heart of a throbbing, active city, making it worthwhile even if it is raining. On one side, there are lovely views of the picturesque Veerhaven where magnificent yachts are moored. On the other, there are large container ships passing the little pleasure steamer.
There is a clever audio-visual system which means passengers can find out background information about the route and the sights along the way. Children are given a colouring book and crayons at the Spido counter before you leave. There are games and a Playstation available for use onboard. The trip alongside the bustling activities of one of the largest ports in the world is quite simply an unforgettable experience.more
When you think of Rotterdam, you do not automatically think of picturesque Grachten which criss-cross... the city in front of splendid merchants' houses and restored warehouses. The same applies to the smoky Bruine Café or the old Dutch pub. But watch out: there is one exception! The historic Delfshaven district, which was incorporated by the then city fathers in 1886, is a picturesque neighbourhood full of old buildings. The former outer harbour of the Maas metropolis lies only a few miles south-west of the main station.
The old port facilities, which at one time provided the important economic link with Delft, the nearby commercial centre, were largely spared the devastation of World War II. The majority of buildings were used as large-scale warehouses and were not the target of the devastating bomb attacks by the German Luftwaffe. Most of the buildings have now been converted into expensive housing. Delfshaven thus combines exclusivity and history for locals and tourists.more
The architectural institute deals with with historic and contemporary architecture. The permanent exhibition... "GeWoon Architectuur" provides insights into Dutch home design since 1850. There are also 15 temporary exhibitions a year on the topics of architecture, room planning and city planning. The institute has an extensive archive with documents dating back to 1800.
The centrepiece of the collections is Huis Sonneveld (1933), an ultra-modern city villa full of colour, light and space. The architects' office of Brinkman en Van der Vlugt designed both the house and the furnishings. Only furniture by renowned manufacturers was used, including lamps and chairs designed by Gispen. There are plenty of clever touches to make life for the people living there easier: the water in the showers, for instance, flowed out of at least ten massage shower heads. A bell was integrated in the dining table in order to be able to summon the servants easily during meals. Huis Sonneveld is an example of the avant-garde architecture of the times.more
The Rotterdam cube houses (1984) are considered the most spectacular examples of Dutch avant-garde architecture.... These are small cube-shaped buildings which balance precariously on one corner. They stretch over three floors above the massive substructures which conceal the stairways. This extravagant style of living between slanting walls is the work of Piet Blom, who was commissioned with designing a "bridge" over the busy arterial road between Blaak and Oudehaven.
One of the cube houses, the "Kijk-Kubus", is open for viewing. The furnished rooms, whose windows and walls are all strikingly aslant, provide an unusual insight into the special living atmosphere between angled walls. There is still no shortage of people interested in renting the flats, they love its unusual nature and appreciate the central location. A small exhibition documents the creation of the structures with photographs and video films.more
The municipal visitor and information centre sheds light on the most important municipal building projects... in the coming years. Like their colleagues in the German banking and stock exchange metropolis of Frankfurt am Main, the city of Rotterdam is planning a series of new highly prestigious high-rise projects. Impressive models illustrate the largest of these projects. At the centre there is a model of the Rotterdam city centre, which powerfully illustrates the major changes in city planning of recent decades.
Special temporary exhibitions shed light on the ambitious future plans and the associated socio-cultural perspectives for coming generations. There are also regular screenings of old black and white films about historic Rotterdam. The information centre also has a series of good recommended routes for city tours on foot.more
The city district on the peninsular of Kop van Zuid is one of the largest playgrounds of modern architecture... on the European continent. The city is playing with its image as a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis. To get here from the city centre, cross over the imposing Erasmus Bridge, which has been one of Rotterdam's landmarks since its completion in 1996. Its striking silhouette has earned it the fitting nickname of "Witte Zwaan" (white swan).
The architectural voyage of discovery starts at the foot of the bridge with the Nieuwe Luxor Theater, the acoustics of which meet even the most discerning of requirements. The restored Hotel New York, the former headquarters of the famous Holland America Line, is worth a visit. Nearby are the Telecom skyscraper, whose facade is lit up in green at night, the Montevideo high-rise which is the highest block of flats in the country and the World Port Center which climbs high up into the sky. This list could go on ...more
The Euromast, a striking part of the city's silhouette which is visible from afar, was created in Rotterdam... Park for the Floriade 1960. In only four weeks the massive cement structure was erected and at more than 100 m (330 ft) was the highest tower in the country at the time of its completion. The small Space Tower was added a decade later, meaning the the Euromast is now 185 m (600 ft) high. Visitors can enjoy a bird's eye view of the city and port facilities. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Maas estuary.
High-speed lifts take you up to the viewing platform and panoramic restaurant. If you are feeling brave, you can take the "Euroscoop", which rotates slowly towards the top of the mast. On the way back down, there are retro rockets to ensure your safe return to the platform. During the summer, you can take an alternative way down by abseiling down from the platform under expert supervision.more
The white villa in Museumpark shows works by sculptor and artist Hendrik Chabot (1894-1949). The artist,... who is one of the most important Dutch Expressionists, was at his most creative was in Rotterdam. Paintings, graphic art, sculptures and sketches are shown in varying combinations. There are also special exhibitions of works by his contemporaries and representatives of national and international Expressionism.
At the start of World War II, the museum park was still a peaceful grassy plane on which cows grazed. The area, which is set amidst rambling country estates, was family-owned until bought by the state in the 1920s. Numerous villas were then built, including what is today the Chabot museum, the design of which was based on the avant-garde simplicity of Huis Sonneveld (1933).more
The art gallery, one of the early works by perhaps the most famous Dutch architect of all, Rem Koolhaas,... provides a fitting venue for ambitious temporary exhibitions in the fields of design, photography and painting. In addition to the two galleries for design und photography, there are three large rooms for the 20 to 25 temporary exhibitions a year (generally several at a time). The themes of the exhibitions range from old masterpieces to contemporary art.
The building, which was completed in 1992, is a gift by Rem Koolhaas to his home town - a work of art of stone and glass which provides more than 3000 m2 (nearly three-quarters of an acre) of exhibition space near the Rotterdam museum park. Afterwards, a visit to the Kunsthallen café-restaurant is highly recommended.more
Some of the atmosphere of old Rotterdam can be felt in the Het Schielandshuis museum. The 17th century... city palais is one of the few buildings in the city centre which survived the German bombings in May 1940 largely unscathed. It was originally built by the Hoogheemraadschap Schieland, the polder administration of the times, to plans by Pieter Post. It has been carefully restored and the building with the striking red shutters now houses half of collection on city history.
The collections focus on art, culture and city history. The prints, photographs, copper engravings and drawings of the "Atlas van Stolk" are all worth seeing. There are more than 100,000 documents, which were put together by Rotterdam wood merchant Abraham van Stolkover in the 19th century. Parts of the collection are accessible several times a year. There are also temporary exhibitions with other main themes. The museum is the most important historical collection in Rotterdam, alongside the Museum De Dubbelde Palmboom.more
The "De Dubbelde Palmboom" warehouse in the middle of the historic Delfshaven district is one of the... finest examples of 19th century Rotterdam architecture. Its original character, largely determined by the double staircase, was retained after the building was converted into a museum. Since then, the former warehouse has provided a fitting atmosphere for the second most important exhibition on Rotterdam city history after the Museum Het Schielandshuis.
The exhibits, which are spread across several levels, shed light on everyday life and work in the hinterland of the Maas estuary and give impressions of the upheaval brought about by the industrial revolution. The place was once home to small craft companies which defined the daily life of the workers, but the large factories of modern industry soon took over. You can end your visit to the museum in the cosy café on the top floor with lovely views of the Delfshaven district.more
The Havenmuseum illustrates the development of the Rotterdam port facilities in the heart of the city... since the mid 19th century. Since then, activities have increasingly shifted to the outskirts. The areas around Leuvehaven and Oude Haven, where the museum has a shipyard in which historical ships are restored, are not as important as they once were. Botlek, Europoort and Maasvlakte, which are difficult for visitors to access, have overtaken the port areas near the centre in terms of importance.
The museum, with its warehouses and workshops, makes it possible to recapture the spirit of the early days of the port. At Leuvehaven there are old fully-functioning inland vessels and steamers. Cranes stand on the Krade ready to load goods. There is also a steam-operated grain sucker and several construction machines. Voluntary helpers tell visitors about the mysteries of the old port. By the way: numerous celebrities have been immortalised on the Schiedamsedijk alongside the museum - Rotterdam's "Walk of Fame".more
This museum has a treasure trove of over three million pictures, in black and white and colour, which... to provide a lively impression of the work of the most important Dutch photographers (including Ed van der Elsken, Cas Oorthuys and Aart Klein) past and present. The museum is one of the most important centres of historic and modern photography in the Netherlands.
Over 100 years of the history of photography is told through a loose succession of temporary exhibitions, which often find their way abroad as well. There are also interactive lectures and workshops. Plus, the only studio in the country which restores old photographs. Copies of the photos on show can also be purchased to hang on your walls at home. Corresponding orders can be placed directly on site.more
The zoo, which was founded more than 150 years ago, is considered one of the most attractive zoological... gardens in Europe, with vast open-air enclosures. The area to the north of the main station has been substantially enlarged in recent years. It has an excellent reputation as there are very few confined cages. The 1.5 million visitors a year, who can see animals from all five continents here, appreciate this fact and the zoo is one of the most visited attractions in the country.
The Riviera Komplex is home to amphibians and reptiles, sea and fresh water fish. The butterfly hall is home to with butterflies with a wingspan of up to 20 cm (8 in). A large colony of African gorillas observes events on the bank from their own island. However the highlight is the Oceanium, a spectacular aquarium, which you cross through a 26 m (28 yd) long glass tunnel. In the new crocodile compound there is an area for grasshopper swarms - which children get reach quite safely via an underground entrance. And get right up close to the insects...more
The greatest family attraction in Rotterdam is the city amusement park, created in 1923 in Hillegersberg... as a tea garden. The lively mixture of playground, zoo and amusement park is mainly geared towards children of all ages. As well as the various playgrounds scattered across the grounds of Bergse Achterplas, there are brightly coloured pedalos you can take out for a spin on the water.
The small zoological garden has all sorts of animals from around the world: African lemurs, Australian kangaroos and wallabies, Latin American alpacas and parrots, and other exotic species. On the second largest "traffic training ground" in the country there are challenging roundabouts and crossroads with real traffic lights. The railway crossing also has a charm all its own and keeps young visitors amused for hours. Meanwhile the grown-ups can picnic at leisure at one of the many tables.more
At the heart of the hustle and bustle of city life, there is an oasis of green stretching out over almost... seven hectares (17 acres): the internationally famous Arboretum Trompenburg. Plants from all over the world are collected here - including a rich blossoming collection of rhododendrons - and also native species like oaks and beeches. A small sign near each plant tells would-be botanists more about the scientific name of the plant and its country of origin.
The first small landscaped garden was laid out as long ago as 1820 on the property of the old Trompenberg country estate. Half a century later, the western part of the park grounds were redesigned in English style by the famous landscape gardener Jan David Zocher. There are now more than 3,500 different trees and shrubs from all over the world. The Arboretum is one of the loveliest botanical gardens in the Netherlands.more
City: Valkenburg aan de Geul in/near Rotterdam Category: Sightseeing
As long ago as 1885, the smart people of Valkenburg realised that their beautiful city could be readily... marketed as a tourist destination and it was the first town in the country to open a Dutch tourist office.
In particular, the imposing ruins of the old castle with its network of secret passages and the magnificent view across the valley of the Geul continually attract hordes of visitors to the picturesque town. After an extended walk through the hilly countryside of Limburg, you can relax in the Thermae 2000 health centre. Also located in the hills is the Gemeentegrot, one of the huge caves covering an area of some 110 ha. Their existence was known even in Roman times. Time and again they served as a place of refuge (most recently during the Second World War). Numerous wall paintings and sculptures chiselled into the stone have been found in the tunnels which run for some 75 km.more
This late Gothic church, known simply as "Laurens" by the locals, bears the name of the city's patron... saint. It was built in the early 16th century, making it the oldest building in Rotterdam. At the time people could become citizens of the city by contributing 3,000 stones to the construction of the tower! The most important church in the city and a symbol of its history, it now sits majestically amidst the modern architecture which has made Rotterdam famous beyond its borders.
The pleasantly light nave was badly damaged by German bombing in 1940. The church was not reopened until more than 20 years later. It is worth having a look at the well-preserved 18th century church choir, the three splendid church organs (with the largest mechanical organ in Europe) and several tombs, including that of the sea hero Witte de With. The church serves as a venue for exhibitions, debates, readings and a wide range of concerts.more