Museum Rotterdam

  Erik van den Akker

our story

Museum Rotterdam has two locations: one in the Timmerhuis and another at Coolhaven.

Our main location, the Timmerhuis, is the museum of the city. Located right in the centre, where the hypermodern glass and steel of the world-renowned architectural firm OMA meets the concrete and brick of the post-war reconstruction icon, the Timmerhuis. Here, unexpected combinations of historical objects and contemporary heritage tell the story of Rotterdam and its people – from settlement on the Rotte to modern multicultural metropolis.

Our second location is dedicated to the Second World War and the impact of the May 1940 bombing on Rotterdam.

Historic collection The heart of Museum Rotterdam is our collection. For over a century, we have collected compelling objects about Rotterdam. Today, our collection houses over one hundred and ten thousand objects, an increasing number of which can be viewed on our website.

In the museum, a fascinating selection of objects takes you on a journey through the rich history of the city. From skull fragments more than ten thousand years old found on the Maasvlakte to historic gable stones that were salvaged after the bombing, and from gnarled timbers from the River Rotte’s first dam to Rotterdam fashion designers’ latest creations. Watch Rotterdam and Rotterdammers change right before your eyes.

New Rotterdam heritage Museum Rotterdam is more than a city museum crammed with historical objects. The museum also celebrates life in modern day Rotterdam. We visit local communities and, in partnership with Rotterdammers, identify the modern city’s DNA. The resulting exhibitions feature objects, photos and videos that tell the stories of contemporary Rotterdammers. This participative project, dedicated to identifying, preserving and presenting the city’s heritage, is unique in Europe.

Connecting past, present & future Important Rotterdam themes such as the city’s no-nonsense work ethic, care, migration, renewal and religion are the common thread that runs through our collection. In the museum, these themes connect past and present: members of medieval guilds aren’t so different from today’s freelancers, and the dockworker in a hundred-year-old painting shares many similarities with Kamen, a construction worker from eastern Europe. Comparing the lives of Rotterdammers then and now brings the past to life. You discover so much more about the city and its people – past, present and future. And when you leave Museum Rotterdam, you’ll love our colourful, enterprising and forward-thinking metropolis all the more.

War and bombing The traditional OorlogsVerzetsMuseum was transformed into Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU. The Second World War and the bombing, both inextricably linked to Rotterdam, take centre stage and are explored in a unique, immersive experience. The stories of then are still relevant today. Every day we hear stories of people fleeing from war zones. Our museum shows that peace, liberty and safety cannot be taken for granted, and allows you to experience the impact of war in an installation as dramatic as it is unforgettable.

Museum Rotterdam. The most Rotterdam museum in the world.