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The history of the Leuvehaven
Formerly the Leuvehaven was a creek with little meaning. It was so shallow that only small vessels with a flat bottom could make use of it. In 1594 the States of Holland and West Friesland gave permission to the little creek the Leuve (aka Loeve or Loewe) to enlarge the Meuse. This meant that the small creek had to be deepened and straightened. Then the banks could be made ready for building. Work began in 1598. Due to lack of funds, construction was halted in 1599, but in 1604 the work could be resumed. The dredging of the Leuvehaven happened with a horse mill: a horse-driven series buckets all the dredging of the water outlet. When that was finished, the quay walls were untempered. On July 10, 1602 , mayor Foppensz son Jacob van der Meyde laid the foundation stone of the head to the west of the new harbor, on June 10, 1603, the first stone of the head on the east side was put down. On 2 June 1608 the city spent building the new Leuvebrug opposite Leuvebrugsteeg, which was completed on 20 May 1609. The port itself was finished in 1608 or 1609. In the beginning there was talk of New Harbour ( Nieuwe Haven), but later the Leuvehaven still seemed to be the best name. New ports were built .. but the Leuvehaven remains to be the oldest excavated harbor in Rotterdam.
The trade and the Leuvehaven
After deepening the Leuvehaven after 1609 were also the big ships in the harbor. Until 1850 there was the Port Wijnkoop at the Leuvebrug. Until that could bridge the large ships, including the East Indiamen, moor. The small barges supplying many companies at the Leuvehaven. The construction of the New Leuvebrug in 1849 made it impossible for large vessels to enter Leuvehaven. The mouth of the Leuvehaven has long served as a mooring tugs. Soon there was a large number of breweries, the latter only at the beginning of the 20th century disappeared. Nearly three centuries stood at the head of the Leuvehaven to the Blaak the seafood market. The market was the center for fish trade in Rotterdam. At the end of the 18th century drew John of Nelle is a small shop in coffee, tea and tobacco to Schiedamsedijk and he had a factory on the Leuvehaven. Later, this was a very well known company, even now one can in stores Van Nelle cigarettes and coffee. In the beginning of the last century there were many offices of lawyers and notaries. A well known company was Gerzon's Fashion Warehouse, a leading shop from 1935 until the sixties on the north side of the fish market has been. When the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940, the buildings around the Leuvehaven destroyed, the property of Gerzon was demolished around 1980.
In 1892 the Leuvehaven attracted the first museum visitors. In the art room at Leuvehaven number 74 were the admirers of one of the first exhibitions by Van Gogh. Nobody had thought at that time that the port itself a hundred years later would become a museum. In 1979 the Maritime Museum was opened with the museum ship Buffalo in the Leuvehaven. That ship has previously served in the Dutch Navy. On 16 April 1983, at the head of the Leuvehaven the Maritime Museum was built and opened in 1986. Outside the Maritime Museum (now Havenmuseum) the rest of the harbor is filled with different style historical ships. For a small number of barges is the Leuvehaven a home.