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The Dutch Berlin
Berlin has a doppelgänger. Rotterdam is confusingly similar to the vibrant metropolis. The modern skyline, the brightly coloured artists’ district and the laid-back attitude make Holland’s second-largest city Berlin’s secret soulmate. But it’s not just from the outside that they appear similar: they also have similar core attributes. Both of them had to make a new start, culturally and architecturally, after the Second World War, as just like Berlin, Rotterdam also had to say goodbye to a huge part of its urban heritage. It reinvented itself, and it shows. It skilfully combines traditional Dutch features such as canals and gabled houses with street art and industrial flair. That’s what earned it the nickname ‘the Dutch Berlin’.Many even go a step further by calling it ‘the Manhattan on the Maas’. And actually, with a little imagination, the skyline on the Nieuwe Maas river does bear a slight resemblance to the Manhattan skyline on the Hudson.
Rotterdam – historic charm with a hint of futurism
New or old? Rotterdam has both. The Dutch city is like a house inhabited by many generations. With an extra dose of passion, a cosmopolitan attitude and a love of contrasts, it unites new and old.Let’s start with a journey through time to the Rotterdam of days gone by: the old port whisks visitors away to the time of seafarers and pirates. In the narrow gabled houses along the canals, they while away the time over poker and rum. Today, students and artists follow in their footsteps. The architectural jewel in the crown of the old port is the Witte Huis (White House). But this White House has precious little to do with the official residence of the US President in Washington DC. The listed office building is much more reminiscent of a Dutch country house. Its claim to fame is that it was the first high-rise building in Rotterdam, inspired by its role models in New York. Back in 1898, the 43-metre-high landmark watched over the port.Let’s wind the clock back even further: St. Lawrence Church, known locally as Laurenskerk, transports medieval times into the here and now. Its most striking feature is that there are no other buildings like it. Did you know that Laurenskerk is the only medieval remnant in the whole of Rotterdam? All of the other buildings from that time fell victim to the Second World War. But the air attacks did leave their mark on the church, and its war damage was fully repaired between 1952 and 1968.Shall we jump back to the 20th century? The Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge) is the architectural focal point of modern Rotterdam, but the asymmetric steel pylon has only been embedded in the futuristic skyline since 1996. Did architect Ben van Berkel already have the nickname ‘the swan’ in mind when designing it? That’s how the 655,000 Rotterdam residents affectionately refer to the abstract landmark.High time you took a selfie? Then a photo stop at the Rotterdam Markthal is an absolute must. After all, this is much more than your average market hall. It is Rotterdam’s biggest source of architectural pride, a cultural melting pot and a culinary meeting point all in one building. Its design mimics that of a horse shoe. It welcomes foodies from far and wide, as do its brightly coloured, large-scale images on the underside of the roof. Be honest, would you have guessed that there are designer loft apartments within this impressive arch?
Motel One Rotterdam – welcome to Amsterdam’s handsome brother
Fancy a relaxed city break to Amsterdam’s handsome brother? Then we’d love to welcome you to Motel One Rotterdam, your affordable design hotel. We promise that if you book one of our affordable designer rooms, you’ll be right in the heart of the action in Holland’s best-kept secret destination. Whether you make your way around on foot, on a roadster or by tram – thanks to the central location at Hoogstraat 177, Rotterdam will roll out the red carpet for you. In just a few minutes, you’ll be able to reach the city’s hotspots.Are you ready for hotspot number one? Just 10 minutes from your hotel is the Rotterdam Stadhuis (town hall), a building from the early 20th century that has a rather turbulent history to speak of. Which other building can claim that it survived an air raid on 14 May 1940?Next, it’s onto hotspot number two: the Cube Houses await. Piet Blom’s architectural highlight is less than 10 minutes away from your affordable design hotel. The residential development is one of a kind, with 50 cube houses lining up next to each other like dominoes. What do they look like inside? Why not find out during a tour? It doesn’t cost much to have a wander round the Show Cube Museum. Ahoy there, is that hotspot number three I see? In seven minutes, you can get from the hotel to Rotterdam’s maritime museum, where over a million artefacts will grant you an insight into the depths of the ocean.
Book Motel One, your affordable design hotel in Rotterdam
Is Rotterdam like a second home to you? Then you’ll feel right at home in our affordable design hotel. Whether it’s the free wifi, large, comfortable beds, modern rooms, extensive breakfast buffet at great value for money or the urban design of the lobby that wins you over – check in, put your bags down and feel like a true Rotterdam resident. After all, isn’t life simply too short to only have one home?
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