De Markthal

Hello again to all my fellow qwirk and color lovers! Thanks for joining me on another escapade!

Today we are talking about the Markthal, an architectural beauty in a class of it’s own. If you happen to be in the Dutch city of Rotterdam and love food, stunning architecture, and bright happy colors, then of course the Markthal is an absolute must-see.

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Accessible via the Blaak train station and central to the city of Rotterdam, Markthal is Dutch for Market Hall. It’s a huge, modern indoor food market where you can purchase all kinds of food from all over the world- an international farmer’s market with all the bells and whistles.

Built in 2014, it is a multi-use building consisting of a marketplace, restaurants, a supermarket, and rows of residential apartments stacked along the left and right sides of the building. What’s interesting is that the  windows of some of the apartments actually look right into the market.

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As you approach the building, you’ll notice it’s shaped like a ginormous upright horseshoe with a huge glass window spanning the entire center. But what will strike you the most is the massive painted ceiling upon entering. Very much like a modern Sistine Ceiling, the artwork starts on the sides at the ground level and expands overhead to the top which is about 11 stories high. Absolutely breathtaking!

Horn of Plenty by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam intends to catch your eye with it’s multitude of bright, neon, and saturated colors. The 3-D images of giant fruit, vegetables, seafood, insects, and flowers are clean, crisp, and everything appears to be dancing and flying above your head.

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Though Michelangelo may have painstakingly hand-painted his Sistine Ceiling using the fresco and paintbrush methods of his time, today the ceiling at Markthal can be created using a combination of photography and software. The only backbreaking work involved was in the installation of the 4,000 ceiling tiles which fit like a jigsaw puzzle and took approximately 1 month to go up.

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When I was in Rotterdam for a week last year, I made it a point to visit the Markthal every single day. It wasn’t that hard since my hotel was right down the street. The good food, good sights, and the good crowd just kept me coming back for more.

I promise you there will be so much to try and so much to take in that one taste and one trip will not be enough for you either!

Lady Miss Neptune here wishing you a bright, happy, and qwirky journey! We’ll catch up again very soon!


1. Featured image adapted from “markthal-rotterdam-impressie 20” by JanVanHelleman under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
license. – 2. Image adapted from “Rotterdam Markthalle 06” by Zairon under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. – 3. Image adapted from “GraphyArchy – Wikipedia 00083” by GraphyArchy under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. – 4. Image adapted from “Markthal” by SharonVanderKaay under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. – 5. Image adapted from “Horn of Plenty in Markthal” by Franklin Heijnen under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

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