Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands and the largest European port. Until recently, he had a similar world title, but at the beginning of the new century he lost the palm to Shanghai . However, Rotterdam attracts tourists not only and not so much by the achievements of shipping - there is something to see and something to be surprised at.
Rotterdam occupies a site at the confluence of large rivers - a strategically advantageous place even from the point of view of our distant ancestors. It is not surprising that where the Rotte and Meuse channels meet (the French call the last Meuse), settlements arose a long time ago. The first documentary evidence of this is the chronicles of the 13th century. Already in 1299, Rotterdam received, and four decades later, significantly expanded special city rights and privileges, which made it possible for free growth and development.
The above dates can give tourists the anticipation of a meeting with the imposing historical center, where you can admire the examples of architecture from different eras. Alas! It is no coincidence that the heraldic lions on the coat of arms of Rotterdam support the shield, under which is the inscription “Sterker door strijd”. The city is truly “Strong in the Struggle”, as it has experienced many tragedies throughout its history. In 1489, Rotterdam was besieged by the army of the future emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and then the king of Germany, Maximilian I. In 1563, there was a large-scale fire, only nine years later - an attack by the Spaniards who fought with the recalcitrant provinces in the Eighty Years War. World War I, in which the Netherlands retained neutrality, passed without significant upheavals, although the city became the temporary "capital" of espionage activities.
The last and perhaps the most devastating blow to the legacy of bygone generations was the Luftwaffe air raid on May 14, 1940. Despite the surrender of the Dutch leadership, fifty German bombers dropped 97 tons of bombs on the center of Rotterdam, which led to colossal destruction and the death of thousands of people. In memory of the tragedy, at the site of the maximum concentration of the fallen shells, the "Scream" monument, otherwise called "The Devastated City", was erected. A huge bronze figure with a hole in his chest stands with his arms raised to the sky, where death came from.
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