Rotterdam (Netherlands)


The resilient(本意指有弹力的,迅速恢复精力的)port city of Rotterdam has come back from the dark days of World War II, reborn as a modern metropolis from the ashes of the German bombing raids in 1940. The bombing virtually destroyed the port and harbor areas, which were rebuilt, however, with modern facilities that gave it an edge (优势) over older ports. Today, Rotterdam is the major terminus (终点港) not only for shipping produce and other goods from Europe; it's also the world's most important oil terminal (集散地), with five major oil refineries(炼油厂)located at the port.

The city's reconstruction also gave a new generation of Dutch architects a chance to build on their talents. The result: A cityscape (都市风景)alive with the kinds of quirky (古怪的) constructions more commonly found in newer cities like Miami. Piet Blom's Picasso-esque cubist (立体主义的;立体派画家的)houses at the Blaakse Bos are local landmarks of weirdness, where furnishings have to be adapted to the tilted(倾斜的,翘起的)structures. The new Netherlands Architectuurinstitute (即Architecture Institute)showcases the best of Dutch design, while the Boymans-Van Beuningen Museum offers a world-class collection of modern art and earlier masterpieces.

Though Rotterdam's one-time harbor, the Oude Haven, was decimated(被毁灭)by the bombing, the medieval Grote Kerk was lovingly rebuilt by the locals. And in front of the church, the 1622 bronze statue of Erasmus (born in Rotterdam in 1469) still holds court. The former harbor itself has become a maritime museum. At the nearby Leuvehaven harbor, the Prins Hendrik Maritime Museum traces the city's watery heritage. Also moored(停泊)there is the Museumschip Buffel, a 19th century warship-turned-museum.

Today's Rotterdam still owes its fortune and fame to the watery ways that have long made it an international destination for trade and tourism. Butnow,its lost history is part of its allure(魅力), and its present dominance as a world trade center is steering the city's course (带引本市的发展方向)into the next century.