Schiedam, a city in the Netherlands with a population of 76,000 is above all well-known for its Jenever (Gin). The charm of the largest historic town centre in the Greater Rotterdam Region is less well known, but that very town centre with canals and the world’s largest windmills makes Schiedam so attractive when you compare it with Rotterdam or other surrounding municipalities. Schiedam has a well developed transport infrastructure and is a key transport intersection, which makes the city easy accessible. A beautiful, vital municipality is our goal, where everyone feels at home, citizens and visitors. Among our key challenges: creating a more attractive city centre, support entrepreneurship, support citizens to use their assets as long as possible, developing the tourism industry (including water tourism), upgrading industrial & business parks and promoting active citizenship.
Schiedam has city rights since 1275. At that time it was a busy gateway to the rest of the Netherlands thanks to its strategic site at the Meuse and Schie rivers. Schiedam flourished as a trading town. Since 1500 Schiedam has a Jenever (gin) industry. Once there were 180 distilleries, these days there are just a few but still successful ones (export of Vodka worldwide for example). From the 19th century the ship building drove the local industry. In the 1970/1980’s most shipyards went bankrupt because of the competition with low-wage countries in Asia. The historical centre is based on an old urban design. In the city centre you will find canals, windmills, monuments, leisure activities & culture and bars, restaurants and shops.
Location & population
Schiedam is the neighbor of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe and the gateway to northwestern Europe. The Hague is 30 km and Amsterdam 70 km. Rotterdam The Hague Airport is just right beside Schiedam. Schiedam is easy accessible by train, metro, bus, tram, bicycle or car being a key interregional transport hub in the Netherlands. Schiedam has more than 76,000 inhabitants. Historically Schiedam always offered workforce from other parts of the country a place to settle. The population is diverse with a multicultural character. In 2014 a third of the population has a migrant background; more than 150 different nationalities can be found in Schiedam.
Schiedam as a medium sized city has a strong local economy. The number of businesses is 2,700 , mainly trade, transport, building sector, industry. The commercial services sector is also big and still growing. In the last decades the maritime industry returned to Schiedam: ship building, heavy lifting solutions, pipelay systems and sophisticated cranes on vessels are examples of our offshore industry. The distributed area of business parks is 300 ha. The total number of jobs is currently 32,000.
Tourism & culture
Owing to the heydays of the Jenever (gin) and shipping industries, Schiedam’s city centre has a wealth of stories. In fact, it has the biggest historical city centre of the Greater Rotterdam Region. Built by prosperous distillers, the 225 national monuments in Schiedam have a history you can taste and nostalgia you can feel.
The city centre offers many possibilities for a real voyage of discovery. A city tour takes you along the harbours, the six highest mills in the world, and distilleries and malt houses. You can also follow the footsteps of Saint Liduina, one of the most famous Dutch saints, by admiring her beautiful relics, located in the Liduina Basilica. The museums, galleries, workshops and specialty shops are definitely worth a visit. Moreover, throughout the year, the city centre is the backdrop for a large number of public events and has wonderful parks to settle on. Schiedam can also be discovered from the water: from April till October you can take a tour by e-boat on the Schiedam canals. There are also various mooring points for cruises in the city centre.
The museums of Schiedam tell the story of the city. Relive the olden days in the old grocer’s shop of the Nationaal Coöperatie Museum or in the Jenevermuseum Schiedam, where you can still have a sip of old Jenever or corn spirit. In the Windmill Museum De Nieuwe Palmboom you can see the miller at work and exhibitions showing the milling history of Schiedam. In the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam you can enjoy Dutch modern and contemporary art, with Post War as the main exhibition theme. The museum is located in the restored Sint Jacobs Gasthuis and has a wonderful permanent collection of over 250 Cobra works.
You will find everything about art, culture, events and the best shops, galleries, cafés and restaurants at www.ontdekschiedam.nu where you can plan your ideal itinerary for the day.
Contact person for Eurotowns
Leonie Hulshof, Coordinator European Affairs
ph. +31 (0) 10- 2191040