Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Markthal, Rotterdam - The Rise of the Phoenix


The Markthal- Rotterdam

It is almost unbelievable to see the city of Rotterdam in The Netherlands and the way it has risen from the ashes after the relentless bombing it suffered at the hands of Nazis during World War II. Adding its unique signature to the regeneration of the city, stands stunning Markthal, a 10- storey, 120m deep arch of apartments in its heart. 

A huge mural inside the Markthal

The Art of Plenty mural designed by the Dutch artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam inside the arch boasts of being the largest art network in Europe.

The Erasmus bridge on River Maas
The structure is composed of a vaulted market hall wrapped with 228 apartments, a brilliant design. There are more than 100 stalls, eight restaurants and a string of stores in its belly as one cascades down to the underground floors. The 175 million Euro structure stands tall in Laurens Quarter close to the Blaak station where once stood the prewar centre which was razed to the ground. 
Blaaktoren and Cube houses in the vicinity

The elite neighbourhood comprises Piet Blom’s Cube Houses and Blaaktoren, a pencil-shaped pentagonal building. The biggest church of Rotterdam, Sint Laurenskerk is just at a stone’s throw and had a providential escape during the bombing in the vicinity.

The Gian Feris Wheel outside Markthal

The beautiful structure of Markthal has a 2800 sq m glass facade on either side of the arch. The panes are movable and are suspended on a steel cable net the largest of its kind. As the water table is just 1 m below, the task of laying the foundation 20m deep, was an unprecedented challenge. The herculean effort culminated in the creation of three levels of underground parking, an underground supermarket, dispatch centres and refrigeration areas. The residents that live in the building are treated with a bird’s eye view of the stalls, a green roof and a huge giant wheel beside the unhindered view of the nearby MAAS River.

Markthal decked up for Christmas

The huge murals created on the walls and ceilings are akin to the gothic paintings in medieval churches. The 4500 aluminium sheets on which the murals have been created look stunning. All the colour adds to the vibrancy and friendliness of the place. The place is a shoppers paradise for unique wares ranging from food and vegetables, all kinds of cheese, meats and fish, sweets and cakes, tea and coffee parlours, flowers and gifts besides speciality restaurants and supermarkets. The exhibitions and constant flow of visitors in the complex are the throbbing heart of this huge place.

A visit to Rotterdam is incomplete without, seeing, smelling and tasting or feeling Markthal. It is indeed a must-visit destination . According to the Dutch saying ' God created the world but Dutch created the Netherlands' is almost true when one sees such marvels

PS: All pics are mine


  1. Lovely pictures Rahul. Have missed your wonderful travel posts.

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind comment Rachna! Good to see you back here