On October 1st 2014, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands officially opened the first covered market hall in the Netherlands – the Markthal Rotterdam.
Located in the city centre of Rotterdam, this huge upside-down horseshoe shaped market contains 96 fresh food stalls, eight restaurants, and 228 apartments. One of the highlights of the building is the artwork that covers the inside of the arch. Highlighted as the biggest artwork in the Netherlands and named The Horn of Plenty, the 4,500 panels which cover 11,000 meters square of space feature fresh produce “raining” down from the sky. The art piece is a five layered digital print made with Pixar Animation software producing a 3D illusion.
Once you have drawn your eyes away from the impressive ceiling, you have the moment to look around at exactly what is on offer. “Markthal draws inspiration from food markets in Barcelona, Valencia and Stockholm. Market vendors will offer a diverse range of regional and intentional products such as fresh fish, poultry, cheeses, coffee, vegetables and fruit, besides a crockery and a wine shop.”
The Markthal site is an important one when it comes to history. It is the very place where Rotterdam was founded in 1270 when a dike was constructed in the river Rotte. The settlement later received its status as a city in 1340. In the Markthal location was once a densely populated neighbourhood that was replaced in the 17th century by inns, shops and office buildings. However, during the bombardment in World War II basically everything was destroyed. Since the site of the Markthal extends underground by 15 metres, during the building process plenty of artefacts were unearthed. In the escalator section of the Markthal you can see a selection of these items in a permanent exhibition called The Time Stairs.
Markthal will be open seven days a week. Mondays to Saturdays from 12am til 8pm and Sundays from 12pm till 6pm. Restaurants will run extended opening times.