Delfshaven400 in alternative form

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the epic voyage of the Pilgrims from Delfshaven to the ‘New World’ of America. This historic event earned Delfshaven a place in the history books. But there is more that makes this 14th century Dutch port a must-see. Four centuries after the Pilgrims’ departure, Delfshaven harbors thousands of residents from all corners of the globe. Some were born in Delfshaven, others settled there more recently. Together they have turned this picturesque Dutch harbor into a multicultural microcosm, a melting pot, so to speak. Delfshaven400, which would initially take place over four themed weeks, will start this week with a continuous series of activities that will put the multifaceted neighborhood and its history in the spotlight.


Since Sunday 7 June, the Halve Maen, a faithful replica of the famous 17th century sailing ship, is docked in the Achterhaven of Delfshaven. The beautiful and lifelike ship closely resembles the Mayflower, the vessel which carried the Pilgrims to America. The museum ship will be opened on June 12 and it can be visited until August 7. Come on board and watch the stories of the explorers come to life.

For a historical perspective, check the About Delfshaven400 page.


In 2020, Delfshaven400 tells the story of four centuries of coming and going in a slimmed-down form. In addition to a visit to the ship Halve Maen, you can experience part of the route which brought the Pilgrims from Leiden to Delfshaven with the Hollandse Vloot. You can also travel back in time with the digital time machine TimeTransit, with which you can walk through Delfshaven from 1620 from the middle of July and view and listen to stories of residents from the past and today. The Pelgrimvaderskerk (Pilgrim Fathers Church) features a renewed exhibition that shows the history of the Pilgrims and documentary makers from Petites Images and Kinderatelier Punt 5 bring different stories from the neighborhood to life with thematic exhibitions. Also outdoor!


The summer months are an excellent time to explore Delfshaven. The outdoor areas of bars and restaurants like De Ooievaar, city brewery De Pelgrim and Oude Sluis have reopened, so did the meeting place Lil’ Delfshaven where you can drop by for a cup of coffee and plenty of information about one of Rotterdam’s oldest neighborhoods. The Dutch Pinball Museum can be found in ‘De Dubbelde Palmboom’ and by downloading the Rotterdam Routes app and through Rotterdam.Info you will find several free cycling and walking routes to explore this beautiful area.

During Delfshaven400, we work closely with cultural institutions, entrepreneurs and residents from the Rotterdam district of Delfshaven to present a program that connects residents of then and now with visitors of all ages. In 2021, the festival will take place as originally conceived with themed weekends. In the meantime, there is a multi-faceted program, starting in June 2020.

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