Want to enjoy a bit of art while strolling through the city centre? No problem, because in Rotterdam you can find important works of art all over the city and visible to the public.
In this article, I'll show you 7 statues that are close to each other and can therefore be easily admired one after the other.
Walking down Lijnbaan from Weena to Binnenwegplein is not only a great opportunity to go shopping, but also to get a good portion of public art. On a 10–15-minute stroll you can admire the following statues:
The little bronze bear statue with two bears playing was designed by the Norwegian sculptor Anne Grimdalen. Because of its height it’s also a great attraction for kids.
A few steps further you will find the “Trommelslager”. A bronze statue on a concrete pedestal depicting a drum beating boy.
At the end of the Lijnbaan (crossing Binnenwegplein) you will see the moving sculpture, which has the same form its name indicates: two turning vertical rectangles. This constructivist sculpture is 20 meters high. Try to film it in time lapse to see it move faster, it’s so much fun!
If you don’t have much time, but still want to get a few impressions on sculptures in Rotterdam, I suggest you visit the Van Oldenbarneveltplaats on the Coolsingel, opposite of the WTC. There you’ll find four iconic sculptures in one place: The Husband of the Doll, The Knot, Untitled “styalized flower” and Welfare.
A naked, cheerful clown with a naturalistic body and a caricatural head.
The trademark of the American sculptor Shinkichi Tajiri: the knot. A simple shape that symbolizes very different things depending on the cultural background. A wonderful opportunity for a conversation!
Also called “the thing” or “styalized flower”, the untitled statue by Naum Gabo is made of steel and a zinc/brass coating on a concrete plinth. It became part of the Top 100 Dutch monuments between 1940 and 1958.
The sculpture is mounted on the facade of the former ABN Amro bank building, the current Forum Rotterdam. The woman is the symbol of prosperity and holds a flying dove of peace in her hand. At her feet is a frieze depicting a sower, a blacksmith, a plowman, a prancing horse, and a woman carrying sheaves.
Tip: visit the Van Oldenbarneveltplaats in the afternoon when the sun starts to set. Then you will be able to witness a beautiful light play, created by the sun’s reflections from the WTC. The surrounding area will be full of green and turquoise light beams (have a close look at the picture of the untitled statue by Naum Gabo!).
It's nice to be exposed to so much art and culture just by being in the city. Besides the statues I've introduced you to here, there are over 200 other public artworks in the centre of Rotterdam - this is just the beginning. So keep an eye out for more during your walk and don't forget to look up along the facades. It's not uncommon to find statues and artworks at dizzying heights.
No wonder that an art riddled nation like the Netherlands brings forth artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh - you simply have to be inspired with this much public art!