HistoryEuromast, since 1960
The Euromast was built in 1960 by architect H.A. Maaskant and contractor J.P. van Eesteren, to mark the occasion of Floriade, the international flower and garden exhibition.
From Eurotower to Euromast
In November 1958, the Rotterdam newspapers reported that the observation tower would be named Euromast. 'Euro' as Rotterdam is located in the very heart of the Euro market zone and 'mast', as in addition to the Dutch, others nationalities too use the same name, such as the English, Germans, Swedes, Norwegians and Danes. They also write mast. In Poland, they say maszt, in Finland masto and in Frankrijk mât. In Spanish it is mastil and in Portugese mastro. Mast can even be linked to the Russian matsjta en and the Japanese masuto.
The foundation stone
Vrije Volk newspaper reported that the foundation stone was laid by Mayor Van Walsum on 10 December 1958, wearing an oilskin jacket and safety helmet. Students of the Wilton-Feijenoord shipyard company school encouraged the workers: 'Ram! Ram! Ram those 130 piles!'
A 100-metre high ship's mast with a crow's nest
At a height of 32 metres, Maaskant provided the tower with a replica of a ship's bridge, complete with navigation equipment and chart room. In this room, the public was able to experience what it meant to navigate a sea-going vessel.
Two restaurants were started in the 100-metre high crow's nest
De Rottiserie, offering a 1st class menu, silver cutlery and a luxurious ambiance and a public restaurant, with all-round panoramic views. The latter was built in the style of a theatre in various orange tints. Ground level included a cafeteria where you could order microwave meals (quite special in those days!).
The tower is made of reinforced concrete with a diameter of 9 metres (internal) and its walls are 30 centimetres thick. Its foundation consists of 131 concrete piles. A block of 1,900,000 kilograms is resting on this as contra-weight for the aboveground construction. This puts its centre of gravity underground to ensure maximum stability. The crow's nest is a steel construction of 240,000 kilograms. The bottom suspends at 96 metres. It was assembled at the foot of the mast and raised in 5 days. The ship's bridge was suspended at 32 metres. The speed of the lifts is 4 metres per second, taking you to 100 metres in 30 seconds.
Restaurant raised in five days
On 11 July 1959, the running headline in Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant was a report on lifting the crow's nest restaurant. The 240-ton monster was raised in five days using ingenious technology. Hundreds of people looked up on the hot summer evenings to witness it slide along the mast at a speed of 15 centimetres per quarter of an hour. The operation was completed on 10 July with the restaurant suspended at 100 metres, taking exactly 131 hours to get there.
On 12 March 1959, Algemeen Dagblad newspaper mobilised its readers to guess when the Euromast would reach its highest point. By adding additional stamps to the value of 50 cents on their postcards, participants would contribute to the Princes Beatrix Polio Fund. The competition was a grand success. On 26 March, 2.59pm, sirens could be heard blaring across the ports; the first phase of the construction had been completed. The competition generated an amount of NLG 67,000 and the winners of the four main prizes were called to collect their car, scooter, television set and washing machine.
The highest building of Rotterdam
In the sixties, the Euromast was 101 metres high. This was sufficient to tower above the skyline of the City on the Meuse. However, Rotterdam's pride was taken over by other buildings left right and centre! In 1970, Euromast retaliated. The addition of the Space Tower meant another eighty-five metres up. This once again made the Euromast the highest building in Rotterdam.
The Euromast was not Maaskant's only contribution to the Rotterdam skyline. In the fifties and sixties, he left his mark on the reconstruction of the city. As early as 1949, he constructed the Zuidplein block of flats and Zuidwijk residential estate in the early fifties. Later on, Groothandelsgebouw, the Hilton Hotel and Lijnbaan flats were designed by his office. With the Euromast, he gave the international seaport of Rotterdam a landmark maritime monument.
30 km of visibility in clear weather conditions
During the first decade, more than 6 million visitors came to enjoy the views. On clear days, they could see Antwerp, Moerdijk and The Hague in the distance. Rotterdam is still beautiful in all its glory, even without glorious weather to match.
In august 1962, 6 members of staff were arrested on suspicion of fraud with admission tickets. • On 25 April 1964, the 2.5 millionth visitor of the Euromast was put in the limelight; Mrs Groot from Aerdenhout, the Netherlands, was given a bunch of flowers, a free lunch and a weekend away in Rotterdam • In May 1964, a commercial radio broadcaster from Luxemburg broadcast a Sunday afternoon programme from the Euromast: Teener Topper Time. The reason for this location was symbolic: it aimed to propagate the European spirit. Celebrities such as Françoise Hardy, Adamo, Anneke Grönloh, Wil Tura and Ciska Peters were all present• In March 1964, Euromast hostesses were kitted up in a uniform designed by Rotterdam fashion designer Cargelli. A golden yellow suit with a black blouse and a small hat in the shape of a round chocolate box • In September 1965, Feijenoord Rotterdam football club beat Real Madrid and the red and white Feijenoord flag was proudly flying from the top of the Euromast.
During the nineties, the Euromast was under threat of being wiped off the map by the ambitious Parkhaven Tower plan. A 392-metre high tower by the London firm of architects Kohn Petersen Fox was to become the new tourist attraction for Rotterdam. As the tallest building of Europe, it was destined to fulfil a residential, industrial and tourist purpose. Ultimately, the Rotterdam municipal authorities pulled the plug from this project.
A new start in 2004
Early in 2004, thanks to the intervention of the Hotel New York Group, the Euromast ultimately underwent a complete makeover. Everything will change, apart from the view, so the motto said. The restaurant was given a modern interior (designed by Jan des Bouvrie) and an international menu with style, from an inviting brasserie. Rotterdam instantly gained a fantastic catering establishment, in a unique location.
On this website you can find everything about the 37 towers scattered across the globe and that have united in the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT) and of which Euromast is also a member.