Like mentioned in my previous post, Rotterdam is known for it’s modern architecture, because most of the old buildings were destroyed in the second World War. While I am a big fan of old buildings, for photography, modern architecture is great too!
In the ninth century (yes, Dutch cities are old), a little village, called Rotta, was completely flooded by a river called Rotte. Around the year 1260 it was decided to build a dam, to protect the village. This is where the city inherits her name from. The city grew and grew. And in spite of multiple setbacks, like the plundering of the city by the Spanish king in 1572, it became a harbour city, as it was located near the North Sea. The city got rich, and expensive mansions were built. But it all changed on the 14th of May in the year 1940.
Only four days before, the Germans had invaded The Netherlands. The Dutch military were fighting to keep control over Rotterdam, but in the morning of May the 14th (1940), Germany sent a negotiator, he had one message: “Surrender, or we will destroy the city”. However, the Nazi’s had no patience, and only a few hours later the bombing started. It lasted for only 15 minutes, but it killed 800 residents, and left over 80.000 homeless.
Later that day, the Nazi’s threatened to do this to more Dutch cities. This was the reason for the Dutch government to capitulate, after only five days of fighting. An unfair battle against a more than five times bigger enemy.
Now, 70 years after the war ended, The Netherlands and Germany are companions in the European Union. Both the first, and second World War will never be forgotten, but all is forgiven. And Rotterdam? Rotterdam bounced back, and will continue to grow.
How do you people feel about modern architecture?