Sunday, August 18, 2013

South Holland Tour, Netherlands

Today was a full day bus tour of South Holland.  Our first destination was Rotterdam which is the country's second largest city.  Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe.  Until 2004 it was the world's busiest port in the world until the title was taken over by Shanghai.

Rotterdam's 39 cube houses were built in 1977 based on the concept of "living as an urban roof".

The Euromast observation tower was completed in 1960, after two years of construction, and renovated in 1970.  The antenna spire is 184.6 meters (606 feet).  The observation platform provides a great view of the city's skyline and the harbor.  It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
View from Euromast

Then it was off to Delft, a beautiful little town, located between Rotterdam and The Hague.

The Old Church, was founded as St. Bartholomew's Church in 1246.  The Protestant church is nicknamed "Old John".  The 75 meter (246 feet) high tower leans about two meters (6.5 feet) to the side.

Construction on the New Church began in 1396.  It was finally completed in 1496.

Across from the New Church, in the market square, is the Renaissance style City Hall.  It was rebuilt in 1620 after a devastating fire.  Today the building is mostly used for civil wedding ceremonies.

Delft is well known as the home of Delftware - Dutch ceramic pottery styled after 17th century Chinese porcelain.

We were given a tour of the museum and the factory to see how products are made.

After Delft we headed to The Hague.  Den Hague is the third largest city and the seat of the government.  Unfortunately, we never stopped in The Hague.  From what I could see from the bus it looks like a return trip to the Netherlands is in order.

Our final stop, before returning to Amsterdam, was Madurodam.  It is a miniature park in The Hague.  Everything is built in 1:25 scale with astonishing detail.

While the park was interesting enough I would have preferred some free time in the city.  Oh well, my next trip to Holland will include Den Hague and Utrecht.

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