3011 AN Rotterdam
Museum Rotterdam describes the history of Rotterdam and its inhabitants. You can learn everything about the rich history of the city and learn how Rotterdam developed from a tiny harbour into a modern metropolis. At the historical museum of Rotterdam you learn all about the history, present and future of merchants, dockworkers and citizens of Rotterdam. Museum Rotterdam also shows long term exhibitions titled ‘Rotterdam people and their city’, ‘History of the city’ en ‘The new city’.
Museum Rotterdam was founded in 1905 as Museum of Antiquities, by a bourgeois elite that wanted to educate Rotterdam’s growing working class population, attracted by the development of the transit port.
It later became the Historical Museum of Rotterdam that glorified Rotterdam´s Golden Age in a time that the modern city centre lacked its previous historical references due to its destruction in the bombardment of 1940.
In recent years the museum has changed its aims and ambitions again. The contemporary transnational city, and not the past city, has become central to its museum policies. In 2010 it dropped the ´Historical´ in its name to continue as Museum Rotterdam.
Begin 2016 the museum opened a new main location in the historical heart of Rotterdam, adjacent to City Hall. Here the story of Rotterdam, the city with a young heart and an old soul, is told in new ways.
It is quite a small museum over two smallish floors. The ground floor has some fascinating models of the city through the ages and there are glass cases with exhibits from Roman to modern times. There is also a large area set aside for children’s activities At the time of writing (July 2017) the first floor had an exhibition, Women of Rotterdam, dedicated to the changing role of women in the city over the past 75 years with presentations of clothes ranging from high fashion to police uniforms. Some really interesting and important displays and well worth a visit.