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The Erasmus Bridge (Erasmusbrug)
Rotterdam and surrounding
Architecture,  Unusual places
Unusual places

The Erasmus Bridge is the best-known sight in Rotterdam, often placed on postcards and magnets. The city symbol and hallmark appeared in 1996 and at once overshadowed even ancient buildings and churches.

Why did it happen? There are several reasons, both constructive and emotional.

Firstly, the bridge is incredibly beautiful. It seems to hover over the river, and its unusual pylon reminds of a swan so that citizens called it De Zwaan, the Swan. Secondly, the bridge had the most innovative technology for that time. Thirdly, the soaring pylon symbolizes the Rotterdam restoration after the fascist airforce almost destroyed its historical centre.

The bridge occupies an important place: it is located inside the functioning, big port, the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world. Getting from the port to the Old Harbour, a favourite site among guests and citizens, is a close walk. So, if you want to see the Swan, you won’t have to go too far.

The author of the project was the architect Ben van Berkel. His bold idea to create a suspension bridge 802 metres long was very innovative. It did not work out perfectly at first: after the bridge was apparently completed, it turned out to lack strength, so it had to be fortified.

The bridge consists of three parts. The cable part 284 metres long is supported by 40 cables. The moving one is necessary to allow ships of any size, from the smallest to large liners, to pass along the river. Today it is the largest and heaviest drawbridge in Europe; its length is almost 90 metres. The most attractive part that made the bridge world-famous is the pylon, an unusual asymmetrical structure resembling a swan.

Address: Erasmusbrug

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Tanya Slyotina
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