Rotterdam Riddles: The Maastunnel

Admitted by Dutchies and internationals alike, Rotterdam has a special reputation in the Netherlands. What makes it so unique? Each month, EM will take a student to one of the city’s landmarks to solve this Rotterdam Riddle.

The Maastunnel: Rotterdam’s underground

Usually it is the stunning zigzag of the Erasmus Bridge that first comes to mind when you think about the Nieuewe Maas. Yet, arguably the most unique site associated with the river in Rotterdam is the Maastunnel. Completed in 1942, this 1070 meter tube connects the two banks, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to escape the howling winds and lashing rains and cross the river. An added benefit: dim yellowish lights flickering as you bike, make you feel like part of a chase in an action movie. I took my friend, Alexandra Medvedevskaya (19), a second-year IBCom student, to explore the first Rotterdam Riddle with me.

Alexandra’s review

“I’ve heard of the Maastunnel a lot of times but did not have time to visit. I think it is pretty unique. All those layers of history, black-and-white photos on the walls, ancient screeching escalators at the entrance, surely make it special. But inside the tunnel itself, with its thick walls, it feels like being in a vacuum. Maybe, I would enjoy more if I biked through.  I won’t call it an architectural masterpiece but I’ve never seen anything like that in cities where I lived before. In Prague, we only have one river crossing the city and it is pretty narrow, so we would not even need such a thing. However, here it is really convenient. Every Rotterdamer knows the pain of being blown off by a ferocious wind, so biking in this tunnel might be a rescue.”

Is it a great spot for first dates or you wouldn’t even take you parents there?

If you’re tired of sweet and romantic things or just want to save your hairstyle and nicely ironed clothes from the storm – could be.

Visitor’s tips: Opening hours – 6.00-22.00. Check if there are renovation works on before you go.