Today we took a walk around the city centre.  We were not really needing anything from the high street shops so took a wander to the Markthal - a stunning piece of architecture in the heart of the city.  The Markthal (Market Hall) is a residential and office building with a huge market hall underneath.  It was opened just before our first visit to Rotterdam, so we saw it in it's original glory.  A few years have passed and we wondered if a lot had changed.  We needn't have worried though - it's still as beautiful indoors as it ever was.  To give you an idea, from the outside, the building is like a huge arch (which contains the housing and offices).  Beneath the arch is the market hall, enclosed by glass walls at each end.  The interior roof of the arch as you can see from the photo, is entirely covered in 11,000sq.m of an artwork by Arno Coenen and is called 'Horn of Plenty'.  The artwork consists mostly of enlarged fruits, vegetables, seeds, fish, flowers and insects, using digital 3D techniques on special servers also used by Pixar Studios for making their animated movies.  The digital 3D-animation was separated into 4000 pieces and then printed on perforated aluminum panels.

During the building of the Markthal, a tenth-century farm was found 7 metres under the ground. Within the house were two stoves and a few fireplaces. The farm was part of a village before Rotterdam, named Rotta, after the river Rotte. The inhabitants of Rotta were farmers, craftsmen and traders. Earlier, a small settlement from the fourteenth-century was found on the site.

Several foundations on the site are now exhibited next to the central staircases underneath the Markthal

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