What a vibrant atmosphere! The market square is full of people waiting to take a first look inside. We have all been waiting for this moment for so long. For years I passed the construction side almost daily. Finally it has become the giant horse shoe that it is and I am so ready. Come along as I took my first peek inside the Market Hall Rotterdam.
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Today, the Market Hall is officially inaugurated. And for a building this important the queen has taken time to attend the ceremony. Garlands are shot in the air, sea-gulls dive from right to left excited for the chance of some pieces of food. I find an old friend from high school on the busy square. So I am in the perfect mood for my first peek inside the Market Hall, the building I’ve seen grow for years. It’s so impressive. Yes it really is, or else I am just a sentimental piece of Rotterdammer.
What I see is a ceiling bigger than any grand theater I’ve seen and it’s covered in colorful depictions of food, flowers, nature, and even buildings. Snails, shrimps, strawberries; what a bonanza! This is the largest piece of art in Europe. You just can’t stop looking upwards to it.
The hall is fully loaded with food stalls. They’re quite fancy: a high class market place it is. Champagne and designed bouquets are among the possibilities, but I fall for a goat cheese with rosemary and black olives. Culinary heaven. By the way, you can have these delicacies on the roof terraces on top of the food stalls. Here you can sit and have an unblocked view of the ceiling artwork.
The Market Hall Rotterdam is the first indoor market in the Netherlands and it’s inspired by international examples like the Boqueria in Barcelona. It also has 228 apartments, some of which actually have a view inside the market hall. Imagine saying to a new friend: I live in between the lemon and the raspberry! The coolest thing is that the building is positioned in a way that you can see it in the skyline seen from the river Maas.
Rich on history
The Market Hall is situated right where Rotterdam once had its first settlements. The building is seen as a historical and symbolical connection of Rotterdam with itself. During the construction they found loads of artifacts from all the centuries since those first settlements. The cool thing is that they kind of put it back where they found it: take the elevators in the middle of the Market Hall to find out! When you go down and down to the lowest level underground, you’ll find displays of the things they found. The lowest floor shows the oldest artifacts and each floor up goes forward in time. Screens explain the way Rotterdam looked in those centuries.
This free museum gives you a good idea of how the city has developed over time. Good to know if you want to understand Rotterdam better. It’s such a modern city, but it has centuries of history.
And now we arrive in the 20th century, when the German bombs took the heart of Rotterdam. With the Market Hall, Rotterdam has been given back another piece of its heart: lively, vibrant, and lovable!