Rotterdam (/ rɒtərdæm / o / ˌrɒtærdæm /; Dutch: [ˌrɔtərˈdɑm] is a city in the Netherlands, located in the Netherlands Southern, within the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt river delta in the North Sea.Its history goes back to 1270 when a dam was built on the River Rotte by people who settled around it for safety.In 1340 Rotterdam received the rights of the city by the count of Holland and little by little it became an important logistic and economic center.It is currently the home of the largest port in Europe and has a population of 633,471 inhabitants (2017, city proper), occupying the second place in the Netherlands, just behind Amsterdam The Greater Rijnmond area is home to approximately 1.4 million people and the Rotterdam The Hague metropolitan area is the 168th most populous urban area in the world Rotterdam is part of the even larger Randstad conurbation with a total population of 7,100,000.
The city of Rotterdam is known for the Erasmus University, the riverside environment, the lively cultural life and its maritime heritage. The almost complete destruction of the city center of Rotterdam during World War II (known as Rotterdam Blitz) has resulted in a varied architectural landscape that includes skyscrapers, which are an uncommon sight in other Dutch cities. Rotterdam hosts a world-renowned architecture by renowned architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom, Ben van Berkel and others. Recently, Rotterdam ranked eighth in The Rough Guide Top 10 Cities to Visit and fifth in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 and was chosen as the European City of the Year 2015 by the Academy of Urbanism.
The port of Rotterdam is the largest cargo port in Europe and the tenth largest in the world. The logistical success of Rotterdam is based on its strategic location in the North Sea, directly at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse) canal leading to the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. The Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt rivers give access to the waterway in the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialized Ruhr region. The extensive distribution system that includes railways, roads and waterways has earned Rotterdam the nickname "Gateway to Europe", and, conversely; "Gateway to the world" in Europe.
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