Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, in the province of South Holland (Zuid-Holland).
The history of Rotterdam goes back to 1270, when a dam was constructed in the Rotte, a river. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by William IV, Count of Holland.
Rotterdam is famous for its Erasmus University, cultural life, many museums, maritime heritage. In the World War II Rotterdam was nearly completely destroyed. Now you see modern architecture, like skyscrapers designed by architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.
Rotterdam is also home to internationally leading architectural firms, like OMA (Rem Koolhaas), MVRDV, Neutelings & Riedijk and Erick van Egeraat, involved in the design of famous buildings and bridges in other big cities.
Rotterdam has an important shipping industry. From the Rotterdam Chamber of the VOC, the world's first multinational, established in 1602, to the merchant shipping leader Royal Nedlloyd established in 1970.