Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Rotterdam’s skyline includes some of the most eclectic and daring architecture in Europe, resulting from the fact that most of the city was destroyed during Allied bombing in World War II during its Nazi occupation. Today it is Europe’s largest port. Only three buildings in the city center survived, the Art Deco City Hall, the Great St. Laurence church from 1499, and the 10-storey, Art Nouveau style White House from 1898. Delfshaven is the oldest existing neighborhood of Rotterdam, dating mostly from the 17th century. The city is rich in museums, with the Boymans van Beuningen being the most extensive art collection, from the 14th century forward. The striking Kunsthal designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, is a work of art in itself. Rotterdam has only seven windmills remaining, but a short trip to nearby Kinderdijk takes you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site containing 19 classic Dutch windmills. Other options for excursions from Rotterdam include half- or full-day tours to Amsterdam or to the 17th century charms of Gouda.