1. Rotterdam's port, Europoort, was the world's busiest port from 1962 to 2004, when it was superseded by Shanghai. It remains Europe's largest port.
2. Rotterdam is home to Europe's first pedestrian shopping zone, the Lijnbaan, which opened in 1953 and was subsequently copied across the Continent.
3. There are only seven original windmills left in Rotterdam, of which only two (De Ster and De Lelie, the Star and Lily) are regularly open to visitors.
4. The Maeslant storm surge barrier protects Rotterdam's harbour and surrounding towns from flooding by the North Sea. The pioneering barrier is one of the largest moving objects on the planet, comprising two 22 metre high and 210 metre long steel gates powered by two 237 metre-long trusses.
5. The name Rotterdam dates to around 900, when early settlers camped by a stream they called the Rotta, reflecting its muddiness. When a dam was built on the river in the 1260s, it became known as Rotterdam.