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De Hef

Posted in Architecture

De Hef is one of the most discussed old bridges in Rotterdam. It was build for trains to cross the river De Maas, but eventually got replaced by a tunnel called the Willemsspoortunnel under the river in 1993. Originally there was an older construction bridge on that location that had turning parts, but ships got in trouble quite often, so this had to be improved. The current De Hef was designed by Pieter Joosting and opened in 1927. The bridge has great historical value and inspired many people.

In 1928 Joris Ivens created the avant-garde movie called “The Bridge“. This movie brought him international fame.

You can watch the movie below. Press play to load in in buffer. Once loaded press play again for seamless playback.

Currently there is some change in the destination of De Hef. It costs the City of Rotterdam a lot to keep this bridge in good and safe condition, but as it is seen as such an important monument, this funds has always been available.

Some people have presented ambitious plans to give De Hef a new more alive destination, and on the moment of writing this ( 20-06-2014) it looks like there is going to be a restaurant on the old bridge.
This would be combined with an old museum for trains and the possibility to do some adventures activity, like abseiling and going down on a zip-line ( tokkelen in Dutch ).