Willemsbrug, that other Rotterdam bridge

Willemsbrug Rotterdam bridge over the New Maas river
Subject to a makeover, the Willemsbrug soon will stand out like never before.

Battle of the bridges

Often neglected, in favor of the Erasmusbrug (Erasmus bridge). That’s the one people talk about. The one, tourists take pictures of. Yet the Willemsbrug is just as important. It also spans the new Maas, connecting downtown Rotterdam to the south bank of the city.
Unfortunately, the Willemsbrug seems to be defeated in terms of attention and adoration. Less memorable. However, salvation is near.

North pylon Willemsbrug Rotterdam bridge

LED there be light

The Willemsbrug gets a new coat of paint in 2017. In the meantime, new lighting is being worked on. The bottom of the two pylons and the concrete bases are spotlighted in red, already. The lighting of the tops of the pylons and the sides of the bridge, is to be concluded in 2017. The new lighting design (by Studio DL) is marked by using energy efficient LED.

LED lighting Willemsbrug

King William III

July 1st, 1981, the Willemsbrug was opened by our former Queen Beatrix and her son Willem-Alexander (our present king).

Yet, for the history of this bridge we have to go back in time an extra century. Way back in 1878, the predecessor of the Willemsbrug was opened. This road bridge was named after King William III, who laid the foundation stone in 1874. In addition to that road bridge, a railway bridge was built across the Nieuwe Maas river. Also called the Willembrug. The construction of these two bridges was the start of major developments on the south bank of the city.

Willemsbrug connecting downtown Rotterdam to South Bank

Sunset tourist attraction

A few years ago, plans were presented for dramatic adjustments. The bridge would be longer, higher and rotated. The idea was to move the Willemsbrug to the north. Almost 150 meters closer to the Erasmusbrug.
But as far as we know now, the bridge remains the same. Except for that fresh coat of paint, and its exciting new lighting. As a result, these adjustments provide bigger tourist attraction, no doubt about it. Especially after sunset.

The Willemsbrug is as much a striking landmark as the Erasmusbrug. Therefore definitely worth an after-sunset visit. So what are you waiting for?

Willemsbrug Rotterdam sunset tourist attraction

Willemsbrug tourist information

  • Located just a few minutes’ walk from the popular Markthal (Market Hall).
  • Location op Google Maps