Rotterdam is the second-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands. It is located in the province of South Holland, at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas channel leading into the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270, when a dam was constructed in the Rotte, after which people settled around it for safety. In 1340, Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland.
A major logistic and economic centre, Rotterdam is Europe's largest port. It has a population of 633,471 (2017). Rotterdam is known for its Erasmus University, its riverside setting, lively cultural life and maritime heritage. The near-complete destruction of the city centre in the World War II Rotterdam Blitz has resulted in a varied architectural landscape, including sky-scrapers (an uncommon sight in other Dutch cities) designed by renowned architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom and Ben van Berkel.