Het Wittehuis - Atlas Obscura

Het Wittehuis

The oldest skyscraper of Europe now stands dwarfed by the surrounding structures. 

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Skyscrapers are a ubiquitous concept in most cities, making it possible for large amounts of people to live in a relatively small area. For many, it is almost impossible to imagine a city without these towering buildings. Despite that, the concept is just about 200 years old, and only about a century in Europe. 

The Witte huis, translated as the white house, is a beautiful Art Nouveau construction that dates back to 1898. The building has 10 floors, and was believed to be too big for the swampy grounds of Rotterdam. But, the 1,000 piles that it is built atop proved otherwise. 

The construction itself was also revolutionary, as it was one of the first buildings to be built without the use of wood out of fear of fires. This was a good call, as the building may very well have not survived the Rotterdam bombing during the Second World War otherwise, as it was close to the Brandgrens.

Know Before You Go

The building is still in use as a residential area and a monument, you are free to photograph it, but please don't disturb the people living inside. 

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December 19, 2023

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