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Rotterdam lies about 19 miles (30 km) from the North Sea, to which it is linked by a canal called the New Waterway.
Erasmus Bridge is a combined cable-stayed and bascule bridge which was constructed in 1986 to 1996. It crosses the Nieuwe Maas in the centre of Rotterdam, connecting the north and south parts of this city or the futuristic Kop van Zuid neighbourhood to the historic Delfshaven.
After devastating bombing in World War II, Rotterdam was rebuilt. A totally new inner city was laid out, with a spacious and functional architecture oriented toward the river as well as series of experiments at complete city planning that have attracted attention from professionals and tourists alike. The Lijnbaan Shopping Centre in Rotterdam, became the prototype for similar centres in Europe and America that allowed pedestrian only traffic.