From A "Living" Museum To An "Exhibition" Museum (Or - "Military History" Served Two Ways)
The funny thing was - I wasn't even looking for the church when I found it. In fact - it was in a totally different part of Rotterdam than where I had expected it to be. I was actually looking for the Library and the Markt Hal (or "Market Hall").
Laurence Church in Rotterdam
I would have loved to have had a look around inside it but I was put off by the sign which practically ordered me to pay an admission charge. I realise that such a historic building needs to find a way of raising money to keep it in good condition. However, I would have felt happier with a sign reading something like "Suggested Donation = 2 Euros". (Maybe it is because I am not used to having to pay to get into an English Church.)
The Laurence Church might not mean anything to you but it is one of very few original pre-WW2 buildings left standing in Rotterdam city centre.
The doors to the front of the church are a relatively recent edition (1960's) and have "Peace And War" as a theme.
This started me wondering if I would be able to find "Het Witte Huis" (or "The White House") - one of the other original pre-WW2 buildings in Rotterdam City Centre.
I found that a few days later - after consulting both my Dad and Googlemaps.
Tall white building in background is "Het Witte House" - now a hotel or cafe. In the foreground you can see the site of the original Rotterdam Harbour.
In between those visits to Rotterdam City Centre I went to the beach at Hoek van Holland. Here I found another interesting WW2 exhibit - the Atlantic Wall Museum. (Open alternate Saturdays and Sundays. Still impressive to look at even if you cannot get inside it.)
The day after I got back from Holland I went to a "Military History" exhibition at the Adult Education Centre in Leicester. They had plenty of exhibits and re-enactors (along with a few serving Military personnel).
Maybe it is thanks to the influence of my Oma but I much prefer history "in-situ" where I can get a proper feel for what happened.
I am going to end this blog post with what I think are three very "talkative" photos I took when I was in Rotterdam. Two are of information boards which you can see on the roof of the "Groothandel's Gebouw" in Rotterdam - the last one is a mix of old photo and modern scenery (in the same place).