Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe is the reason that Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe". In the province of South Holland, Rotterdam is in the west of Netherlands and the south of the Randstad. The population of the city was 616,250 on February 1, 2012. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is approximately 1.3 million. The combined urban area of Rotterdam and The Hague is the 206th largest urban area in the world. One of Europe's most vibrant, multicultural cities, Rotterdam is known for its university (Erasmus), cutting-edge architecture, lively cultural life, striking riverside setting and maritime heritage. It is also known for the Rotterdam Blitz. The largest port in Europe and one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, when it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Niew Meuse (New Meuse), a channel in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhrregion.
Also seen on the card is the Erasmus Bridge which is a cable-stayed bridge across the Nieuwe Maas, linking the northern and southern regions of Rotterdam. The Erasmus Bridge was designed by Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996. The 802-metre-long (2,631 ft) bridge has a 139-metre-high (456 ft) asymmetrical pylon, earning the bridge its nickname of "The Swan". The southern span of the bridge has an 89-metre-long (292 ft) bascule bridge for ships that cannot pass under the bridge. The bascule bridge is the largest and heaviest in West Europe and has the largest panel of its type in the world. After costing more than 163 million euros to construct, the bridge was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on September 6, 1996. Shortly after the bridge opened to traffic in October 1996, it was discovered the bridge would swing under particularly strong wind conditions. To reduce the trembling, stronger shock dampers were installed.
The Bridge has been used during many memorable events. The bridge featured in the 1998Jackie Chan film "Who Am I?" In 2005, several planes flew underneath the bridge as part of the "Red Bull Air Race". In 2005, the bridge served as the backdrop for a performance by DJ Tiësto titled "Tiësto @ The Bridge, Rotterdam". The performance featured fire-fighting ships spraying jets of water into the air in front of the bridge, a fireworks barge launching fireworks beside the bridge, and multi coloured spot/search lights attached to the bridge itself. The bridge was crossed during the prologue and the opening stage of the 2010 Tour de France.
Thank you Marco for this nice card.