Rotterdam’s history began around the site of today’s Binnenrotte street. It was here that a dam was built on the river Rotte about the year 1270 and a small fishing village was created. Trade and shipping flourished, causing ‘Rotterdam’ to grow quickly. Between 1866 and 1872, the Nieuwe Waterweg canal was constructed to improve Rotterdam’s accessibility from the sea and the city became a real international hub. On 14 May 1940, during the Second World War, practically the whole of the old city centre was destroyed in the Rotterdam blitz. As a memorial to the disaster, special red street lighting marks the extent of the devastating fire which followed the bombardment.

The people of Rotterdam rolled up their sleeves and got to work: two weeks after the war, they began the process of reconstruction. The city had the courage to radically break with the past and made a daring choice for spacious town planning and modern architecture. The keynote was light, air and space. Rotterdam has remained a trendsetter to this day, ensuring that the city keeps its ultra-modern feel. The desire to go for innovation is still typical of the people of Rotterdam. The city’s skyline is praised throughout the world as a paean to modern architecture.

Interactive timelines

Rotterdam maintains cordial relations with countries and cities all around the world. The city’s connections to various nations date back hundreds of years and encompass commerce, sports and culture. Two examples are America and China. ’In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers left ‘Delfshaven’ by ship to travel to America, and there was already an Island in the Java Sea called Rotterdam.
In collaboration with Stad & Bedrijf, the historical ties of Rotterdam with America and China have now been mapped and processed in interactive timelines. On these timelines you will find many important events in both America and China in terms of trade, but also in the field of culture and sport. The texts in the timeline can be re-used in other documents, mentioning Stad & Bedrijf. The photos in the interactive timeline are (c) of the respective copyright holders and may not be used in any way whatsoever without their permission. You are responsible for arranging permission from the copyright holders before using the photos. Contact the copyright holders listed under each photo to make appropriate arrangements. Rotterdam Partners is not an intermediary or representative of the copyright holders.

Rotterdam - USA

Rotterdam - China

Rotterdam-China Interactive timeline (Chinese version)