Erasmus Bridge Rotterdam
Since the Maas river flows through Rotterdam, different parts of the city are connected by many impressive looking bridges, like the red Willemsbrug. The most famous bridge is the Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge) and for many people the ultimate symbol of Rotterdam. It’s 139 meters high and affectionally knick-named The Swan by locals. Read more about the history and events of the Erasmus bridge below.
The History of the Erasmus Bridge
The 802-metro long bridge was designed by Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996. The bridge is built from light-blue steel with a one-armed pylon jutting out high into the sky and throwing a row of 40 steel cables across the water. Due to its asymmetrical pylon (which gives the bridge a distinctive shape), the bridge has earned its nickname “The Swan” (“De Zwaan”) by locals.
Moreover, the southernmost span of the bridge has an 89-metre-long bascule bridge for ships that cannot pass under the bridge. The bascule bridge is the heaviest and largest in Western Europe and has the larges panel of its type in the world.
After costing more than 165 million Euros to construct, the bridge was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on September 6, 1996. Shortly after the bridge opened to traffic in October 1996, it was discovered the bridge would swing under particularly strong wind conditions. To reduce the trembling, stronger shock dampers were installed.
Events at the Erasmus Bridge
As one of Rotterdam’s key landmarks, the Erasmus Bridge is the setting for many spectacular events. A regular event on the city’s cultural calendar are the annual World Port Days, a large-scale maritime event that celebrates Rotterdam’s famous harbor. Another important event is the Marathon of Rotterdam. Holland’s largest running event. But that’s not all: the bridge has also seen Hollywood movie shoots, dance events, Red Bull Air Races, and featured in the Tour de France cycling race.