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Rotterdam: a city rebuilt from rubble

10 May 2021 at 09:00 CEST

As Official Travel Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, knows a thing or two about our Host City.

Rotterdam has its own share of innovative and creative designs.

On May 14, 1940, Rotterdam was flattened in an aerial bombardment that left only three buildings standing. But within four days, plans were afoot to radically rebuild the entire city. The architectural wonderland that rose out of the ashes is still thrillingly modern and unique. And we’ve found five buildings that are iconic to the city.

Central Station

Rotterdam Centraal Station

Rotterdam Centraal Station will likely be your first architectural wonder you see upon arrival to the city. And although it’s the main transport hub, it’s modern design makes it unlike many other buildings. It’s most striking feature is the grand entrance – a fully clad, stainless steel arrowhead which points to the urban centre that awaits.

Hilltop Staircase

Hilltop Staircase was designed by Dutch firm, NEXT Architects. This giant circular staircase serves as a viewing platform, where you can soak up unhindered vistas of the Rotterdam skyline from afar. The rusty steel stairway, gently draped upon the grassy slope, wonderfully contrasts an orange pop shade against the emerald hues of the hill. And don’t be tricked by the seemingly continual loop – it’s an optical illusion – but worth a snap for the gram.

Witte Huis

Witte Huis

Only three buildings in the city survived World War II, and the Witte Huis was one of them. At towering 43 metres tall, it was crowned as Europe's first skyscraper and the tallest office building when it was built in 1898. The Witte Huis and its white glazed-brick facade embellished with Art Nouveau mosaics and statues give you a glimpse of ‘old’ Rotterdam. This national monument has also rightly landed itself on the UNESCO World Heritage list.


Kubuswoningen (Cube Houses)

The Cube Houses – or Kubuswoningen – are a classic Rotterdam sight. Designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom in 1970, this row of cubed houses stands above ground level and looks as if they balance on a 45-degree angle up against each other. But these buildings are not just a design experiment as many are residential dwellings. When you get the chance to visit the city, you too can spend a night in one of these yellow cubes at Stayokay Rotterdam.


Markthal Rotterdam

Markthal Rotterdam is a U-shaped building ingeniously constructed using steel cables and glass panes, which create an intricate facade. Inside the gigantic arched structure, you'll find lines of apartments and market stalls sat under a massive mural of digitally rendered fruits and flowers on the ceiling. Not only is it an architectural delight but also a food haven if you’re looking for a fresh bite to eat. Markthal Rotterdam is just a short walk away from The Cube Houses, so you can tick both buildings off your bucket list at a go.

Original content created by - the Official Travel Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest.