Rotterdam celebrates the city
The Stairs are a memorial to the city’s rebirth. A reward for the tireless perseverance to rise from the ashes, after the second World War. This staircase is built for the cultural event ‘Rotterdam celebrates the city’!
The famous Led Zeppeling song ‘Stairways to Heaven’ easily comes to mind. These white steps do not lead to heaven though, but to the roof of the Groothandelsgebouw. One of the first buildings built after the disastrous bombing of Rotterdam in May 14, 1940. Designed by the architects Hugh Maaskant and Willem van Tijen, this smashing piece of architecture became a symbol of the rebuild of Rotterdam city.
For 5 weeks everyone can climb the stairs to enjoy the view from the Groothandelsgebouw.
Stairs to a unique lookout
Once on the roof of the Groothandelsgebouw, you are surrounded by railway tracks, an impressive Central Station, and the Delftse Poort building.
A rooftop walk is part of this experience, including a visit to Kriterion. This former cinema is reopened for a just few weeks. We watched a nostalgic black and white documentary about the post-war period of Rotterdam.
But most of all, the rooftop itself is worthwhile. On sunny days it is a great place for a hang out.
100 million steps
Every hour a thousand people climb the 140 steps. Because of security reasons up to three hundred people simultaneously may walk these mega stairs. But people don’t seem to care to wait for a while. The Stairs became an instant hit. It is a real visitors magnet.
The only necessities needed: a good physical condition and a lack of fear of heights. We expect at least 350,000 people going up, before closure. Up and down that’s almost 100 million steps, a distance almost halfway around the world!
“Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen”
Being 29 meters high and 57 meters long, The Stairs offer an impressive landmark. Huffington Post recently wrote: “Rotterdam’s Incredible Scaffold Staircase Is Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen.” [read the full article]
MVRDV architects designed these temporary stairs not only to bridge a large vertical distance, but also to connect history and present. To merge the old and the new. Result: a spectacular construction to celebrate 75 years of rebuilding the city.
Rotterdam tourist information tools
- The Stairs will remain open until June 19th.
- Everyone is welcome to visit from 10:00 to 22:00.
- Admission is free.