During the Second World War, Rotterdam suffered heavy losses. The Nazis wanted to use the Netherlands as the basis for the planned battle against Great Britain. After encountering significant resistance on the ground, the Germans decided three days after the initial invasion to bomb Rotterdam from the air. A total of 150 bombs of 50 kilograms and 158 bombs of 250 kilos were dropped at the center of the city. Approximately 2.6 kilometers square was almost leveled and more than 900 civilians were killed by the bombs. The destroyed city sculpture symbolizes the heart of the city of Rotterdam.

The destroyed city sculpture

This bombing survived only a few buildings including the city hall and the St.Laurenskerk Church. Today’s city center is totally different. Wherever you go, you will find a lot of new skyscrapers and modern buildings. In principle, Rotterdam is one of the few European cities that don’t have a typical old town.

Russian-French sculptor Ossip Zadkine

Russian-French sculptor Ossip Zadkine visited the city after World War II. The destroyed heart of the city inspired him for his new piece of art – The destroyed city statue. The bronze sculpture represents an upsetting human figure with raised head and hands. The whole sculpture is extremely dynamic with the arms and legs in different directions. The hole in the chests of human figures is also highlighted, symbolizing a heartless man, or the city of Rotterdam, without its historical heart. Find out more information about Ossip Zadkine here.

Plein Square 1940 Rotterdam

This sculpture is located in Plein Square 1940 close to the famous Maritime Museum. Also close by is the building of the Amsterdam Bank, one of the first built buildings after the Second World War. Since the sculpture is in the very center of the city, I suggest you stop for a short time next to this beautiful sculpture and remind yourself of the sad history of this city.

The destroyed city sculpture

Find out more information about The destroyed city statue on CityGudieRotterdam or culture trip website.


I am a 24 years old architect based in Split. Passion for photography has grown steadily when I was traveling all around the world trying to capture every unforgettable experience I met on my way. Collaboration:karlo@ilcroatia.com

Write A Comment