In my final post from Miniworld in Rotterdam, I’m still captivated by the models here and the sheer amount of detail involved. The information boards continue, reading:
The Marshall plan was an aid plan that started three years after the Second World War. The plan aimed for the economic reconstruction of countries in Europe which were affected by the war. The first ship will Marshall-goods “De Noordam” arrived at Rotterdam harbour at the end of April 1948.
Aid consisted of money, goods, raw materials and food and meant the difference between life and death for many people.
What many people do not know is that all of the countries who were helped via the Marshall Plan have been paying back the cost of it, with interest, ever since the help was given. In the case of The Netherlands, final payments were paid back to the United States of America in the early 2000’s.
The Port of Rotterdam is one of the largest shipping ports for liquid chemical products and mineral oils in Europe. These are brought in and out via waterways, road and rail. Complete trains are loaded and unloaded at these terminals and then transported to Germany and other countries around Europe.
Many refineries can be found in the industrial area and port of Rotterdam. The petrochemical industry is the branch of the industry dealing with the processing of petroleum fractions into various chemical products. The branch of chemistry is called petro chemistry. Among others these raw materials are used for polymers (= plastics) and the pharmaceutical industry. A major petrochemical company is Shell.
Because of the ongoing battle against water, the Netherlands became experts in water management. This is use to their advantage and for different purposes. More than 18 percent of the Netherlands consists of water and roughly half of the countries surface is below sea level.
To protect the country and it’s inhabitants the Dutch make use of dikes, sluices, different kinds of pumping stations like the famous windmills and water drainage systems. Steven Hoogendijk built the first steam powered pumping station in 1787, locate at de Blijdorpse polder in Rotterdam.
It was designed by the British Matthew Boulton and James Watt. It was able to pump up to 50,000 litre (13,200 US gal) a minute, which made it powerful enough to pump flooded polders dry and to keep it that way.
More than 500 steam powered pumping stations were put into operation in the 1900’s, when in the 1920’s diesel powered pumping stations became popular and replaced the steam powered ones.
The Oranjesluis is a sluice in ‘s Gravenzande and has a lockkeepers house on top of it called “Het Jahthuis” (The Lodge) This house was built in 1676. At first the sluice was used to supply fresh water to the gardens of the estate of Honselaarsgijk, owned by Willem III.
Soon they discovered the water to be too salty and since 1888, Oranjesluis has been used only as a water outlet. Miniworld reconstructed the lockkeepers house, it can be found in Sluishoek and is identical to the one at the Oranjesluis!
There is so much to see here that I did not take photographs of, that I would recommend anyone who is in the vicinity of Rotterdam, especially if you are a train, model buff, or have kids, that you visit yourself. My photographs only cover 10% of the exhibition so there is plenty to see!
ALL of the kids visiting spotted the King and Queen having an unscheduled stop on the motorway when their “Golden Coach” looses a wheel ! (In reality this coach never goes on the motorway, it takes a different route through the city of The Hague for the opening of Parliament), a black coach and horses does however transverse the highway between The Hague and Delft when one of the highest members of the Royal family passes away… but the motorway is closed off on those occasions). A little poetic licence is ok though…