I drive past this place almost every day and I always thought to walk there to see for whom or what the memorial plate is. This is the text: “On May 14, 1940, our comrade First Lieutenant Koenders gave his life for the fatherland at this place. In grateful memory, IV battalion, 15 Infantry Regiment and Burgerwacht van Rotterdam”.
Every 4th May, a small wreath and some flowers are laid to commemorate. With only a few people and in the weeks after that no one at all thought about what happened. Almost forgotten.
Today, after a short drive, I planned a lunch stop in the Kralingse Bos. A park with a number of windmills. Mill De Lelie is the smallest and the oldest mill. This dates from 1777. Mill De Ster is first mentioned in 1830. The Star burned down in 1865 and 1962 and was completely rebuilt both times. The mills used to grind spices and tobacco. You can find these windmills at the Plaszoom. Worth a visit!
A few days ago I took another small photo walk and I passed the Crooswijk cemetery located at the Kerkhoflaan. It is an old and very beautiful cemetery with an old chapel, lots of nature and certainly with the beautiful spring weather a nice place to come to contemplate.
A short history; In 1829 it was decided that burial in the church was no longer allowed. The Municipality of Rotterdam built the first municipal cemetery: Crooswijk cemetery. The Rotterdam city architect Pieter Adams designed the cemetery. The cemetery was inaugurated in July 1832. The cemetery is not yet ready, but due to a cholera epidemic, Rotterdam has a large number of people to bury. There is also a military plot dedicated on May 30, 1940. Here 115 Dutch soldiers are buried. In addition, a separate section has been set up for Islamic funerals. Here, dead can be buried within 36 hours.
Today is a National holiday! 75 Years ago the Second World War ended in Holland! This picture was taken on the Maasboulevard, alle the flags fluttered for the feast and the liberation!
Liberation Day is the Dutch national holiday on May 5, on which the liberation of the German occupation in the Netherlands in 1945 is celebrated annually. On 5 May, the Netherlands will also consider the great value of freedom, democracy and human rights.
I took this photo not far from where he was born, reading his book, executed in bronze, Erasmus. The oldest statue in the Netherlands was on the Grotemarkt before 1940. Unscathed from the bombing and hidden until May 1945, its then was placed on the Coolsingel. When the metro was built in 1963, it was relocated to the Grotekerkplein. The Erasmus statue is in a straight line to his birth house.
In Brooklyn on the square of the Erasmus Hall High School is a life-size copy of this statue by Simon Miedema.
“For a few centuries it is actually the only public statue in the Netherlands that has not belonged to a warrior, prince or statesman, nor to a poet, but to a scholar, one who still had quite neglected that homeland.” Quote by Johan Huizinga, Dutch Historian
When you come to visit Rotterdam you will often come across the name Erasmus. He was a Dutch priest, Augustinian canon, theologian, philosopher, writer and humanist. Born in Rotterdam around 1466 and known for books such as “Lof der Zotheid (Praise of Folly)” and the bilingual edition of the New Testament and his edition of the letters of the church father Hiëronymus. Two motives determine Erasmus’s philosophy: freedom of people and peace. In Rotterdam you can find schools, a hospital and streets named after him. The picture you see here is of a monument on the spot of where the birthplace of Erasmus was. Near the Laurenskerk in the centre of Rotterdam.
Not many people on the street but I met this person, Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman. He was a Dutch rear admiral in WWII. The English name for his rank is Rear Admiral. Known to the Allies as Admiral Doorman. Doorman died during the Battle of the Java Sea aboard the light cruiser De Ruyter. To commemorate him the Dutch Royal Navy, named a ship after him, four times, in 1946, 1948, 1991 and 2015.
Note: K. Doorman, Utrecht, April 23, 1889 – Javazee, February 28, 1942.
I photographed this square before and from a different angle. These days its empty but now I could take a picture of this monument; It commemorates all Rotterdam men and women who gave their lives in World War II in the struggle for liberation of the Netherlands. The monument of Mari Andriessen was unveiled on May 4, 1957 by Princess Wilhelmina on the Stadhuisplein. The bronze artwork consists of four persons: a woman looking back, a child and a man looking at each other and a man with a spade looking forward. The figures symbolize the connection between past and future: the suffering from the past and confidence in the future.
May 4, it will be 75 years since the Netherlands was liberated. This year it is celebrated (too) quietly and commemorated due to circumstances. But we should never forget it …
Its was after the war, Rotterdam was bombed, many buildings gone and Rotterdam had to build themselves up from the ashes. This building, the Groothandelsgebouw (building for wholesale) was realised between 1947 – 1953. The building was officially opened on 3 June 1953 by Queen Juliana. At the opening, this was the largest building in Europe and the largest multi-company building in the Netherlands. In 2020, the Groot Handelsgebouw is home to more than 400 companies and 2 innovative office concepts (Retail and Cambridge Innovation Center).
You can find this art object on Westersingel. The Italian artist Giuseppe Penone was inspired by a fallen tree whose roots grew on the ground. Around the art object are five living trees that live in symbiosis with the object. The bronze roots stick with their ends in the five surrounding living trees. Because the living trees continue to grow, the bronze will leave a trace in their bark. Penone uses the passage of time in the work of art: after years the elapsed time will be visible in the tree trunks.
These three houses date from around 1700. And they are close to where I live! They are three of the no more than fifteen old merchant houses that the city still knows. All three have a storehouse on the ground floor. One of the three (nr. 407) still has the beautiful ceiling and wall paintings by the Elias brothers and others; a beautifully sculpted chimney made of Brazilian rosewood and a rococo style stairwell in very good condition! They have been national monuments since 1971 and in 1995 came into possession of Stadsherstel Historisch Rotterdam. So also a bit of me as a resident of the city …
P.S. You can find these houses at the Rechter Rottekade.
Oh oh! I was so busy the last weeks I forgotten that it was the first of the month already! Municipal Building is the theme and I had to search my archive because I didn’t make a fresh picture… (this one I did a few months back) I took this one in 2010 with my newest digital camera, just trying, and not the best picture ever made but through this camera I have been able to capture many memories forever! The cityhall is on the left, located at the Coolsingel.
Last night I was looking for a interesting subject for a photo and I found it! This is a part of the 14th century old city wall and now a part of the railway station Blaak. I waited until the train passed to show the proportions of old and modern!
This evening I went into town especially for you to take a picture! And my eye fell on this old city gate! Or rather, an arty reproduction of the city gate that once stood here until May 1940, the Delftsche Poort … In short: the Delftsche Poort in Rotterdam was a city gate, it was already the third gate at that place! After the bombing in May 1940, the gate was so damaged that it completely disappeared. Fifty years after the bombing, this reconstruction was built on the Pompenburg, designed by artist Cor Kraat. Orange so that you can see it well!
If you ever played Monopoly there’s a chance you’ve got the card “Go to jail”! And this is one of those places you would be send, but in this case, a real jail! I took this picture at the former court house and prisonbuilding located at the Noordsingel. The court house was build in 1898-1899 and designed by W.C. Metzelaar. Executed in neo-renaissance style. In 1996 the court moved to a new building and nowadays al kind of businesses use the building. Just behind the court house is the former prison. Build in 1872 and used till recently. It was so outdated, some of the cells still had buckets for the toilet! The prison is now being converted into an apartment complex.
Fact:On July 16, 1941, the crew managed to maneuver a crashing British bomber in such a way that it did not end up on the houses, but in the Noordsingel. The Courthouse was badly damaged in the process. A group of residents of the canal have founded a memorial here in 1946.
During a photowalk I liked the the doors and logo/sign from the former Nederlandsche Handelsmaatschappij building. Now a listed building its was designed by architects C. Elffers and A.A. van den Nieuwenhuyzen in the traditionalist architectural style. Together with the adjacent Blaak 28 (1950) and Blaak 40 (1950) bank buildings, the bank building is one of the first buildings to be built after the war. The entrance is marked with a grand portal by artist Nel Klaasen, in which the emblem of the NHM is incorporated (click for detail).
Built on the same spot where the original building from 1917 stood. The vaults had survived the war, but were replaced by new ones. The NHM was founded in 1824 on the initiative of King Willem I to breathe new life into Dutch trade after the French period.
Every time I pass this mural at metro station Stadhuis I want to take a picture of it, and that’s why you see the picture here! On the side of the Town Hall Square, a “graphic wall” has been placed between the staircase parties, designed by artist Bouke Ylstra. In concrete panels polished by the artist with his own hand, smoothly painted lines are filled with a deep black paint. They form two configurations that resemble shapes. The artwork was commissioned in December 1965.
Stadhuis metro station also had a number of shelters, to use during the Cold War, when danger threatened. Many of the shelters have been demolished, only the corridor from the Town Hall to the metro station is still there. This corridor made it easier for the city council to go to the shelters, without having to walk the streets.
This sunday I could not find the time to take a nice picture so this is one from the archive! Het Heilige Geest huis (the Holy Spirit house). A few facts: The house is a neoclassical style building located in the Gerard Scholtenstraat in the Old North in Rotterdam. Built in 1898 by Rotterdam architect Jan Verheul Dzn. Specially designed as a residential home for old men. It is the fourth home of the Holy Spirit House charity since its creation in the first half of the 15th century.
It was intended for the care of elderly people in need in Rotterdam with room for thirteen men in the asylum. The last residents left the building in 1972 because it no longer met the requirements of the time. Nowadays listed as a municipal monument. The outside is virtually unchanged. The attic would also be in its original state, just like the Delft blue tiled toilet.
Its so long ago but here in Rotterdam we still remember the fires of the bombardment in may 1940. This is a table stone, a monument, with a map of the city center and the spots where the bombs of German airplanes hit the city and set it on fire. You can see the line/border to where the fire came, the “brandgrens”. In the streets you can find a lamp in the sidewalk with the symbol of a flame that indicates where the flames came … You can find this stone/monument at Pompenburg – Admiraal de Ruyterweg.
P.S. Here’s a detail of the stone (click here), difficult to photograph due to the mirror surface, but then you have at least an idea of what there is to see…
This morning I walked through this shopping mall and exactly in the middle of it you can find this shopping mall compass rose! It shows you all the directions, north, east, south and west but actually it is one direction, the shopping mall! This compass rose was unveiled during the opening of the mall in 1996 and has the following inscription:
het hart van de stad is meer dan een verzameling gebouwen gebouwen, winkels, straten en pleinen, het hart is die ene plek waar je kunt voelen dan een stad leeft
the heart of the city is more than a collection of buildings buildings, shops, streets and squares, the heart is
that one place where you can feel that a city is alive
It seems to be an artweek on my blog this week because here’s another statue for you to enjoy! Its a hommage to the artist Marten Toonder who created the famous cartoon characters Oliver B. Bommel and Tom Poes (famous here in the Netherlands). Located at the Blaak and unveiled in 2002 on the 90th birthday of the artist. Designed in a somewhat baroque style it shows a few characters from the cartoons (here a detail) and its illuminated on four sides with reliefs full of symbols of philosophy, politics, economics and science. The obelisk is crowned by brushes, the symbol of the artist, a globe, symbol of the universe of Bommel and Tom Poes, personification of Reason. Why the title of this post? The favorite saying of the cartoon character Oliver Bommel at the end of each argument: “If you understand what I mean…”.
In 2017 a short poem was added: Black stones, as a remnant of a decadent past, against marble white present, where the silent tears weep from the liberated spirit
A few days back I had a photowalk and I noticed this statue made in 1990 by Dutch artist Willem Verbon. It is a (action)statue of Willem IV van Holland ( 1308 – 1345). Also known as Willem de Stoute (Le comte hardi). Must have been a brave knight, in his younger years, he fought in Spain and also traveled to the Holy Land. I took this photo of the statue against the backdrop of the Schielandshuis at the Korte Hoogstraat, more on that building in later post. I can already tell one thing, Napoleon once slept here!
This is just a beautifull view! I passed the Oude Haven (old harbour) near the cube houses and just had to click for you! This is old Rotterdam and new Rotterdam in one view. Top left, the red bridge is the Willemsbrug, opened in 1981. This new bridge replaced a older bridge from 1878. And the bright building at the right is our White House (yes really, in Dutch called “het Witte Huis”) build in art nouveau style en opened in 1898 and was then the highest office building in Europe! The harbour in front is the “Oude Haven” and dates back to about 1350! Nowadays the harbour is used for historic ships. During the holidays the historic ships are paved with lights…
Today this picture of the football stadium owned by the pro Excelsior team. Founded in 1902 and located at Woudestein. And its not really a picture of the stadium but from the lights that put everything in a bright glow!
While travelling to work I passed the former water extraction company terrain located at the Esch and of course near the river Maas. Between the rain showers the sun broke open the clouds and showed again how beautiful autumn can be! On the right you see the silhouette of the old water tower. The entire location is now full of houses and business premises. I have to work this weekend but for those who have the weekend off, have fun!!
I always wanted to take a photograph of the tile tableau on this buildings facade. And today I took the subway and did it! The “Rotterdamsche Cooperatieve broodbakkerij en verbruiksvereeniging Vooruitgang“* founded in 1898 to provide good-quality bread and other foodstuffs at an affordable price to the working class. The bombing of Rotterdam in 1940 destroyed various stores and the head office of the bread and pastry bakery “Vooruitgang” or “Progress”. Short after the war a new head office was opened on a new location, the Schiekade. And in 1967 a whole new building at the Rotterdamse Zomerhofstraat combined all the old locations, the head office etc. In 1972 it all ended. Nowadays the location houses small businesses and many creative entrepreneurs.
* Translated: Rotterdam Cooperative bread bakery and consumption association Progress
This is the Erasmus University College building, located at the Nieuwe Markt (the New Market). This building was the former Gemeente Bibliotheek (municipality library) 1923 – 1983. In 1983 a new building was built at the corner Hoogstraat / Binnenrotte in a style that is reminiscent of Centre Pompidou in Paris (I show you a picture later). And from 2013 till now about 750 students attend here the Erasmus University College, the undergraduate college of Erasmus University Rotterdam. At the right you see a glimp of a fountain, that is a subject for another day!
There used to be a big cattle market in Rotterdam at the location I photographed this part of the original fence (corner Goudserijweg / Hugo de Grootstraat). Parts of the fence are the only reminders of this cattle market. On monday for sheeps and pigs and on tuesday horses and cows. The market was located here since 1867 and moved to a new location in 1974. The whole location was redeveloped and was filled with houses. The slaughterhouse nearby (closed in 1981) was reused to house students!
Its sunday so again I found it appropriate to show you a church. Its the Allerheiligste Verlosserkerk (Most Holy Savior church) located at the Goudse Rijweg in the neighbourhood Crooswijk. Build in neogothic style between 1882 – 1884 with a connected monastery build in 1885. About 1050 people could find a seat inside the church, so quite big. Closed in 1978 due to declining church attendance and severe damaged in 1979 by a fire it was decided in 1982 to convert the church to house students. The name of this appartment building? The church…
Instead of the promised rain and grey skies this saturday was reasonable sunny as you can see in todays photo! This is the “Markthal” or in english market hall 🙂 located at the Grote Markt, near station Blaak. The inside is full of stalls, small and big with all kind of food. There are restaurants and takeaways. Also contains the largest work of art in the world, the 11.000 m2 Horn of Plenty. The arch of the market hall contains appartments. Mainly tourists visit this spot, in groups with a local guide because of the design etc. Building started in 2009 and the hall opened in 2014 so this year it was celebrated, five years already opened! I celebrate this at home, have a good weekend!
I photographed already a ornament on the facade of the city hall but I didn’t show you the city hall! Here it is (the front of the city hall it is). With proudly displaying the flags of Rotterdam and the Netherlands. If you look closely you can see exactly the time I took this picture, not the day, about two weeks ago, sorry!
Today I will show you a swimming pool opened in 1937, the Sportfondsenbad Noord or known by the people of this neighbourhood as the Van Maanenbad, named after the street where the pool is located. One of the main and special features was the roof that could be opened, nowadays this doesn’t function anymore. The pool is classified as a monument and restored to its former glory in 2014 – 2015. Note the flag of Rotterdam – green/white/green – in the left upper corner!
N.B. A Sportfonds swimming pool was financed by a savings system for members and shareholders.
Living history here in the center of Rotterdam, the socalled “Lijnbaanplataan” or translated “Lijnbaan plane tree”, nominated as tree of the year 2019 and named after the location where it grows now. But this location is the second life location of this remarkable tree. Planted in 1851(!) in the garden of the former Coolsingel hospital the tree survived the bombs and fire of the war in 1940. The hospital itself was severe damaged. In the 1960s the inner city was rebuild and new shops were build around the tree and former gate of the old hospital. A reminder of the recent past!
Update: Unfortunately the tree ended second place in the “Tree of the year 2019” with 9212 votes. First place: Noord-Brabant: Heksenboom (witch tree) in Bladel (9840 votes).
This sunday morning I walked by this hidden spot. Its maybe difficult to find but its still there, sandwiched between the tall buildings, a Jewish cemetery that dates back to 1696! First used for the Portuguese commune and since 1710 used by the “Hoogduitse” commune, in 1811 consisting of approximately 2100 people. People were buried there until 1820. There are about 200 gravestones, but the older graves are under the most recent ones.
At the start of WWII in 1940 some 13.000 Jews lived in Rotterdam. Nowadays there is not much left of this community. The foundation Boete en verzoening (penance and reconciliation?) takes care of maintenance of this historic place so that it is not forgotten.
Remember this picture? Today I was in front of the top! Not in a helicopter but in front of a model that is in the hall of the church entrance 🙂 Next time I climb the stairs of the tower of the Grote of Sint-Laurens church to show you the view of Rotterdam!
Today started with rain, around noon it was still raining and when I was almost ready with work it started pouring with rain! I took this photo at Blaak station. An hub where train meets metro, metro meets the tram and vice versa 🙂 I like the mood/colors. And can you spot a rather famous architecture design? Yes, you see a glimpse of the kubus (cube) appartments in which no wall is straight!
Walking home this evening I walked past this mural De lijst (the frame), named after the restaurant De lijst and made by artist Cor Kraat in 1980. It was placed nearby on a other building above restaurant De lijst, demolition of the restaurant meant it had to move in 1988 to another building and again it had to move in 2002 to the current location at the Oostzeedijk Beneden. Restored in 2019 in all his glory. I like the frames inside the frame…
Its sunday and I found it appropriate to show the Grote of Sint-Laurens church. She’s the only survivor of the cities middle ages centre. Building started in 1449 with the tower and in about 1500 the church was completed. During WWII the church was heavily damaged but rebuild and in 1968 again completed. Visit the church and climb the tower for a nice view of the surrounding city! Nice weather today so enjoy a quiet sunday just like I do!
A couple of days ago I passed the rear (Rodezand) of the old Main Postoffice located at the Coolsingel. This was an entrance to the innercourt for the lorries with the mail and packages etc. Build between 1915 and 1923 in a classic style with some art deco elements. It survived the second world war but was closed in 2007 and out of use since but plans are to reuse it for appartments, a hotel and shops…