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History of Rotterdam

A short introduction

Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and a multicultural city in the western part of the Netherlands. It is the second largest Dutch city with more than 600,000 inhabitants.

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.

At the beginning of the Second World War, 14th May 1940, virtually the entire city centre was devastated by German bombs. This explains why there are very few pre-war buildings in this part of Rotterdam. After the war, reconstruction of what had been destroyed was given the highest priority.

Now, almost seventy years later, a new, modern city centre has risen from the ashes. The avant-garde architecture is famous at home and abroad. Rotterdam has become a dynamic city bustling with activity.

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