This guide offers you an overview of the turbulent history of Rotterdam, birthplace of Erasmus, residence of Willem van Oranje and source of income for many ship-owners and harbor masters. Glory days alternated with dark days, such as the bombing of May 14, 1940. The clearing of the first ruins became the start of the rebuilding of the city. The people of Rotterdam are proud of their modern architecture, of which the Erasmus Bridge, the Market Hall and the new Central Station are fine examples. Wilma van Giersbergen is an art historian and René Spork is an archivist. They both work at the City Archives of Rotterdam.