Most of the canals in Rotterdam (called ‘singels’) originate from the 19th century ambitious water project ‘Singel Plan’ by city architect Willam Nicolaas Rose. The plan had to stop the returning cholera epidemics. Take a look at the following interesting Rotterdam canals that form a National Monument together.
The most well-known Rotterdam canal is the Westersingel, built between 1870 and 1900. The Westersingel forms part of the Sculpture Route that belongs to the Cultural Axis. In total there are 17 pictures of which 6 are located on the waterfront. The Westersingel is located near the Central Station and for that reason a very good starting point for exploring Rotterdam.
The Noordsingel is another beautiful and an even older canal. The Noordsingel was designed in 1854 by John David Zocher and his son Louis Paul Zocher and completed in 1862. Prominent buildings that were built at this canal include the old prison and the connected Court of Justice which moved in 1996 to the southern part of Rotterdam. The monumental prison complex was recently turned into the Garden of North (Tuin van Noord) that include apartments and a garden, amongst others.
In norther direction the Noordsingel turns into the Bergsingel. This rustic more modest canal has been restored like the Noordsingel.
Heemraadssingel is probably the most impressive canal given the spacious structure and the green and stately mansions. Heemraadssingel was built in 1900 commissioned by prominent city architect Gerrit de Jongh. The Director of the Public Works also gave Rotterdam-West a chic canal.
Essenburgsingel runs along the rails located 1.5 kilometers west of the Central Station. Essenburgsingel is not the most elegant canal but does lead to some interesting sights such as the old house of politician Pim Fortuyn on the G. W. Burgerplein, the Sparta Stadium (the oldest football club in the Netherlands) and (further away) the impressive Unesco Van Nelle Factory, an architectural and innovative gem.
Crooswijksesingel and Boezemsingel
These both canals in the neighbourhood Crooswijk have an English landscape style. At the beginning on the side of the Noordplein stands in the water a striking statue of a man with his hands in his pockets, a reference to the former Heineken brewery (part of the building is still present) that ran all the way to the Crooswijksestraat.
The Spoorsingel is easily accessible from the rear of the Central Station. It is a rustic canal that ends at the Walenburgerweg.
Near the Spoorsingel in the Provenierswijk we find the Provenierssingel. The name refers to the Proveniershuis which in the 15th century began as a leper colony.