Rotterdam is a province of South Holland in the west of the Netherlands. The municipality is the second-largest in the country (behind Amsterdam). It is the southern part of the Randstad, which is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe and has a population of 6.7 million. The name Rotterdam derives from a dam in the Rotte river.
Situated on the banks of the river Nieuwe Mass, Rotterdam port was the busiest in the world during the period of 1962-2004. The name Rotterdam derives from a dam in the Rotte river. The harbour is an important point for transporting bulk materials to and from Europe. In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed.
Alongside Porto, Rotterdam was European Capital of Culture in 2001. The city has its own orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with its world-famous musical director Valery Gergiev, a large congress and concert building called De Doelen, plus many theatres (including the new Luxor theatre) and movie theatres. The Ahoy complex in the south of the city is a popular centre for concerts, exhibitions, tennis tournaments and other exhibits. Diergaarde Blijdorp is a popular zoo with a walkthrough sea aquarium called the Oceanium is situated at the northwest side of Rotterdam.