Historic Delfshaven Rotterdam

Image by Rénia Sastrowidjojo

Historic Delfshaven – Step into the past

I used to live in this neighbourhood, it’s definitely worth checking out.

We have some authentic-looking spots in Rotterdam, despite all the ‘newness’. They are the parts that didn’t get bombed on that fateful day (or the Rotterdam Blitz) and were somewhat preserved, like the oldest part of the city, Historic Delfshaven, from 1389.

It used to belong to Delft, which wanted to have its own seaport to compete with other ports. A lot of events happened here: fights between several parties, fires, a war which lasted eighty years between the Dutch and the Spanish, the VOC trading company but also the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers.

The Pilgrim Fathers came from Leiden and set out from Delfshaven for England on the Speedwell, which wasn’t sea-worthy enough to cross the Atlantic Ocean, so they had to change onto the Mayflower to reach the New World – America. They left a ‘souvenir’ which you can visit: the Pilgrims church.

Cross the bridge from the Nieuwe Binnenweg towards the cafés like the Oude Sluis and find this historic area with the canals behind it. Despite its small size, it’s packed with lots of history and you get a glimpse of what Rotterdam used to look like. 

Wander around, look for the ‘Tovertunnel‘, walk/cycle through it and find a nice 7-piece mural on this street. Delfshaven itself has expanded and there are a lot of monumental buildings referring to its nautical and trading past. 

Enjoy your discovery and plenty of cafés for a pit-stop!

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Details about this spot



Aelbrechtskolk 20, Rotterdam

Opening Times

24 hours daily




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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)