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Rotterdam
Rotterdam Connect > Guide > Rotterdam

Rotterdam has a long history that goes back to the 13th century. Back then a dike was build to protect other villages against the sea. Not long after the dike a dam was build in what is now known as the centre of the city. Soon a little settlement was starting to grow on the dam where people lived of the fishing industry which led to a trading place and the first harbours were born. Rotterdam kept on growing and growing and became bigger than its surrounding cities like Delft, Schiedam and Vlaardingen, Later on Rotterdam became part of the United East India Company (Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) also known as the VOC. Rotterdam (and the rest of the Netherlands) made a fortune with trading all kinds of goods everywhere around the world. All that money was a good thing for the employment and prosperity in the city.

In the First World War the Netherlands were neutral, but in the Second World War the Dutch got invaded by the Germans. For four days there were fights in and around Rotterdam. Finally the Germans decided to make the Dutch an offer – stop fighting or we will bomb Rotterdam- unfortunately the Dutch were not given much time, because at the moment the offer was made, planes carrying tons of bombs were heading for Rotterdam. The bombing only lasted 15 minutes but this and the firestorm followed by the bombing were enough to destroy the entire centre of Rotterdam. That’s the main reason why Rotterdam does not have an old city centre like Amsterdam or Delft

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