Until mid-October, Rotterdam and the region will commemorate the opening of the New Rotterdam Waterway in 1872. This canal is the artificial mouth of the river Rhine. It gave Rotterdam the springboard to conquer the world and become an important port.
The Waterway (Nieuwe Waterweg) is a busy shipping route since it is the primary access to one of the busiest ports in the world, the Port of Rotterdam. At the entrance to the sea, the Maeslantkering from 1997 protects the city.
The canal symbolizes big, radical, and groundbreaking thinking. A feat to be remembered 150 years later. The manifestation is about looking back and forward. Visitors and communities along the whole Waterway can explore the past and present. Of course, there is information about the future to take a sustainable leap forward in terms of welfare and prosperity for the region.
The 150-year celebration of the New Waterway concentrates on the relationship between the city, port, and the inhabitants of the region.
Telling about the New Rotterdam Waterway
On Thursday 28 April, the Mayor of Rotterdam will open the program where it all began: Hook of Holland. That day also sees the start of a photography exhibition along the Koningin Emmaboulevard. Forty iconic photos by top photographers tell the story of the development of the coastal village.
Verhalenhuis Belvédère collects stories from Rotterdammers about their relationship with the river at a number of river locations throughout the region. In their special Verhalenkeet – a mobile recording studio – they record these interviews in audio form per location. Anyone can join in and tell a story. A digital version of each story is sent to the Rotterdam City Archives, the Verhalenhuis, the collaboration partners, and of course the interviewee himself. In September there are audio performances.
Maritime Museum organizes the Maritime Festival from August 27 to September 4, exactly where the port once started! With this year’s extra attention to 150 years of the New Rotterdam Waterway.
Photo: Guido Pijper