The title of this post might allude to the famous Led Zeppelin song, yet I’m referring to a gigantic staircase which was built to lead to the top of the Groothandelsgebouw in Rotterdam.
You might have heard about pop up restaurants and shops, but I’m pretty confident almost no one has heard about pop up staircases. However, the one in Rotterdam popped up on the 16th of May and was meant to have stayed open until the 12th of June, luckily for me the organisers prolonged it for a week which was exactly the week I paid a visit to the city.
I don’t know why, but when I hear about a sight like this I usually either “wait” until the right opportunity arises, which might mean I could miss out on it completely. In this case, I’m happy to report I managed to check it out.
Rotterdam is Celebrating
Unfortunately for those who were in the Netherlands at the time and missed it, it’s gone now . My best advice is to keep an eye on the agenda of the city of Rotterdam as things like this tend to pop up (literally) in this incredibly innovative city all the time. The stairs were built to commemorate a special occasion, it’s been 75 years since the city was rebuilt following the Second World War. The 180 steps weren’t meant for people to exercise, they were meant to elevate people to another level and to show them the beauty of the city.
The Groothandelsgebouw itself is a monument and provides office and retail spaces. It’s also home to the Suicide Club, which is a really exclusive club in Rotterdam I’m hoping to visit one day.
The location of the building is right next to Rotterdam Central Station, which means that these stairs had a very central location in the city centre.
For this occasion the building was transformed into a viewing point. Binoculars were placed on various sides, and scaffolding was set up to allow multiple rows of people to enjoy the view. Benches were placed all along the roof of the building, and there were restaurants selling snacks, drinks and pizzas. It basically became a really nice place to hang out.
As I said before, unfortunately the stairs are gone now. The takeaway from this post is not about the staircase, it’s about the city of Rotterdam. I would like to advise everyone to keep an eye on the city’s agenda, because there’s always something new, hip and happening going on there. If a 29 metres high and 57 metres broad staircase wasn’t enough, they’ve now placed piano stairs at the metro station in Central Station. There’s always something going on in Rotterdam!