The first tunnel in the Netherlands designated for cars. That’s what the Maastunnel is. At least half of it. The other half is meant for pedestrians and bikers and since Rotterdam is a bike city, this is the part you have to visit when you’re in Rotterdam and in possession of a bicycle.
Taking the Maastunnel is not just a way to get from one side of the river to the other side; it’s an experience in itself. It starts once you enter one of the entrance buildings on either the north or south bank. The nod of the head from the guard feels like a launch to descend the wooden escalator to reach the lower bicycle track. During your journey down to reach the bottom of the river you can see all the facts of this milestone of engineering passing by on the side of the escalator.
Construction of the tunnel started in 1937 and it was finished in 1942 under German occupation. To me it is still fascinating that this challenging construction was realized during WWII while the rest of the city was in debris.
By the way, until April 23 there is an exhibition about the 75th anniversary of the tunnel in the Kunsthal.
Enjoy your journey!