Skip to content

City without a heart

“The Destroyed City”, Rotterdam, January 2020

This giant bronze statue, The Destroyed City (De verwoeste stad), stands as a reminder of the German bombing of Rotterdam on 14 May 1940, that destroyed the medieval centre of the city. The image below shows what remained of Rotterdam after the clearing of the destroyed buildings.

image courtesy Wikipedia, author unknown, Copyright Public Domain

The statue is the work of Russian-born French sculptor Ossip Zadkine, who described it as “A cry of horror against the inhuman brutality of this act of tyranny”. It received much criticism upon its arrival, but is now seen as an important element of the city and was registered as a Rijksmonument in 2010.

The heartless man has acquired many nicknames from the residents of Rotterdam over the years, including “Stad zonder Hart” (City without a heart), “Zadkini”, “Jan Gat” (Jan Hole) and “Jan met de Handjes” (Jan with the little hands).



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 29 February 2020

Posted as part of Saturday Sculpture

5 replies »

  1. In the meantime Rotterdam has a new heart, stretching from Central Station to Kop van Zuid and from Feyenoord to Delfshaven. Good staying and living in this city.


Come join the conversation:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,814 other subscribers

Popular Posts

Time to make rap not war
No access
A gentle dusk
Broadstairs to Margate: an easy coastal walk
London hearts
%d bloggers like this: