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Full nameRotterdam
Official nameRotterdam
Settlement typeMunicipality / City
MottoSterker door strijd (Stronger through struggle)
ProvinceSouth Holland
MayorAhmed Aboutaleb
AldermenJeannette Baljeu
Hugo de Jonge
Hamit Karakus
Jantine Kriens
Antoinette Laan
Korrie Louwes
Total Area123.1 sq mi (319 km2)
Land Area79.5 sq mi (206 km2)
Water Area43.6 sq mi (113 km2)
Total Population611000 (1 October 2010)
Density (pop.)2850/km2 (7381.5/sq mi)
Metro (pop.)1211523
Other information
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Area code010

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Rotterdam (c-eniconˈrɒtərdæm; Dutch -nlˌrɔtərˈdɑmNl-Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and the largest port in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe means that Rotterdam is often called the Gateway to Europe.

Located in the Province of South Holland, Rotterdam is in the west of the Netherlands and at the south of the Randstad. The population of the city proper was 603,425 in March 2010. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is around 1.3 million people. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant and multicultural cities. It is known for its university (Erasmus), its cutting-edge architecture, its lively cultural life, its striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz.

But the essence of Rotterdam is its huge, modern port. The largest port in Europe and one of the busiest ports in the world, the port of Rotterdam was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, at which point it was surpassed by Shanghai. Rotterdam's commercial and strategic importance is based on its location near the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse), one of the channels in the delta formed by the Rhine and Meuse on the North Sea. These rivers lead directly into the centre of Europe, including the industrial Ruhr region.

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