Time machine Open Monument Day

Written by Sil Lamens
Frontrunner

Open Monument Day 2022 is just around the corner. On September 10 and 11, many Rotterdam monuments open their doors, including in Rotterdam Centre! This year's theme is sustainability.

It will be a weekend of enjoyment with lectures, guided tours and more. Over 50 monuments are there to be enjoyed. But which monuments in Rotterdam Centre are participating and what can you do there? We have listed a few of them.

Heritage Ports - Oude Haven

The Oude Haven or in English: Old Port, a beautiful part of Rotterdam, will be transformed into a real Sustainability Festival during the Open Monuments Day. The Oude Haven is a berth for many monumental ships and Scheepshelling Koningspoort is located at the foot of the famous White House.

Lectures and three workshops will be held during the Sustainability Festival. There are opportunities throughout the day to admire the ships inside and boat trips through the beautiful Maritime District are available from 11:45 am. Awesome!

The Schielandshuis

The Schielandshuis is one of the oldest buildings that can be admired in the centre of Rotterdam. It was built in the 17th century, and for a century and a half it was used by the Schieland Water Board. This organization had the task of managing water in Rotterdam and was powerful and prosperous.

In the 19th century, the Schielandshuis was the residence of Napoleon for a while. But in this same century, a disaster happened: a large fire broke out in the house right next to the Coolsingel. Only the walls of the stately building remained. After a renovation by the municipality, the house was restored and managed to survive the 1940 bombing as if by miracle.

Hence, a rich history! During the Open Monuments Day on Saturday September 10, there are guided tours of the house at various times during the day. Although the tours are free, it is wise to make a reservation.

Schielandshuis (1891)
Schielandshuis (now)

the Saint Laurens Church

The only historic building that doesn't have to feel like a smurf between the enormous modern skyscrapers: the Sint Laurenskerk or Saint Laurens Church in English. For many Rotterdammers, the medieval Laurenskerk (early 15th century) represents the history of Rotterdam and its grand reconstruction.

Laurens (as some Rotterdammers like to call the church) can be visited for free during the Monument Day! Join an exciting treasure hunt, or climb the highest tower of the church and see Rotterdam from an ancient perspective.

Laurenskerk (1698)
Laurenskerk (now)

Huis Sonneveld

House Sonneveld, right next to the Museum Park, is Rotterdam's most beautiful villa. It is one of the best preserved buildings from the Nieuwe Bouwen style of the 1930s. The Sonneveld House shows how a Rotterdam family embraced Modernism and how they collected a beautiful collection of art with their capital.

During the Open Monuments Day, Sonneveld House is completely free! The audio tour is also for all visitors to the House. There is also a fun audio tour for children: 'A Sleepover at Leonards'.

House Sonneveld (1973)
House Sonneveld (now)

Different routes through Rotterdam Centre

During the Open Monuments Day you may find it hard to choose which monument you want to visit, so it is a great idea to do one of the walking routes! Visit beautiful monuments and discover the history of Rotterdam.

Route Colonialism and Slavery

Like other cities in the Netherlands, Rotterdam also played a role in Dutch colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. Although Rotterdam as a city benefited from the prosperity that colonialism acquired, this period is also a black page in history.

Although most of the traces of this past have been erased by the bombing and subsequent war, a 2019 investigation revealed that physical traces do remain. The Colonialism and Slavery route highlights these traces and tells the story.

Children's route

When you walk through Rotterdam, the first thing that strikes you are of course the high, shiny buildings. With all these modern architectural fireworks you would almost forget that our city has a history! That is why this tour pays attention to the buildings of Rotterdam that have survived history

In many of these buildings, they have a very different purpose now then they had before. With the Children's Route you visit old icons of the city that together tell a story about the history of Rotterdam.

During the packed programme there is much more to do! So don't forget to check the OMD website.

Written by Sil Lamens
Frontrunner
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