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Desiderius Erasmus

Erasmus is one of the greatest philosophers and scholars of all time. His books have had a profound effect on the world we live in today. And yet people are usually only familiar with his name. About time you met him!

Language Enthusiast

To Erasmus, language was incredibly important. You can only convey your thoughts to others properly if you are proficient in a language. But learning a language takes effort. You need to know the rules, and learn as many words as possible. Only then can you say exactly what you mean.

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Pure faith

Erasmus was a deeply religious Christian, but he did criticize the church. Ultimately, he says, faith is a personal conviction. The church can guide you along that path, but shouldn’t force you. Faith should be about the source (for Erasmus it was the Bible) and the believer. And faith should bring people together, not drive a wedge between them.

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Everyone is a Good Person

Erasmus wanted everyone to become better people, because he wanted people to co-exist. He wrote about freedom, about respect, about peace. Erasmus believed that true progression requires people to discuss their ideas, and to continue to do so. You should be willing to give and receive criticism. Give each other room to think. Ultimately, this will make co-existing much easier.

Read more about Erasmus and behaviour

Erasmus in Rotterdam

Erasmus is Rotterdam’s most famous resident. You see him everywhere: a bridge, a university and a hospital were named after him, to name but a few examples. The reason? Erasmus was born here. In all of his books and letters, he consistently refers to himself as “Erasmus of Rotterdam”. Erasmus is Rotterdam’s pride. Statues, memorials, quotes: this map shows where you can find Erasmus.

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  • Erasmus’s Birth House

    Erasmus was born in Rotterdam, on the Nieuwe of Wijde Kerkstraat. On 28 October 2016, a monument in honour of Erasmus will be placed here.

    Grotekerkplein

  • Statue of Erasmus

    This bronze Erasmus statue designed by Hendrick de Keyser has adorned downtown Rotterdam since 1622.

    Grotekerkplein

  • Laurenskerk

    Erasmus was born next to the Laurenskerk. In this church you can find information about Erasmus, as well as the old church library from 1604.

    Grotekerkplein

  • Rotterdam Public Library

    This library features the world’s largest collection of books written by and about Erasmus, and has a lot more to offer. The Erasmus Experience for example.

    Hoogstraat/Binnenrotte

  • Markthal: De Tijdtrap

    A permanent exhibit of archaeological items found during the construction of the Markthal. Combined, they tell the story of this place.

    Binnenrotte/Blaak

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

    With a unique collection of old and modern works of art, and spectacular exhibits about a huge variety of subjects. It also features a portrait of Erasmus made around 1530.

    Museumpark

  • Erasmus MC

    University Medical Center, affiliated with Erasmus University Rotterdam. Every year, the Erasmus MC celebrates ‘de Lof der Geneeskunde’ (In Praise of Medicine), named after one of Erasmus’ books.

    's-Gravendijkwal

  • Erasmusbrug

    This bridge over the Meuse River is nicknamed The Swan. It opened in 1996 and was designed by Ben van Berkel. Erasmus did build bridges, but he didn’t build this particular one!

    Coolsingel/Maas

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam

    An international university that has strong ties with the city of Rotterdam and the surrounding area. On the Woudestein campus, you can find find various works of art about Erasmus (visual and written works).

    Burgemeester Oudlaan

  • Maritime Museum

    Here you will find a statue of Erasmus that served as a figurehead on the ship De Liefde, the first Dutch ship to arrive in Japan in 1600.

    Coolsingel/Blaak

  • Museum Rotterdam

    This museum houses Rotterdam’s cultural heritage: over a hundred thousand items in all shapes and sizes, including items about Erasmus.

    Rodezand/Meent

  • City Archives

    The City Archives have books, maps, photos, cartoons, drawings, films, and a whole lot more about Rotterdam’s history—which obviously includes Erasmus.

    Hofdijk

  • Rotterdam Info

    The starting point for information about Rotterdam in all of its multi-faceted glory: art & culture, architecture, festivals & events, attractions, and the most beautiful sights.

    Coolsingel 114

  • Erasmiaans Gymnasium

    Rotterdam’s oldest grammar school. The school has existed since 1328 and was named after Erasmus in 1842. You’ll find a wide variety of art about Erasmus in the building.

    Wytemaweg

  • SS Rotterdam

    This 1959 steamship from the Holland-Amerika Lijn has been turned into a hotel with a view over Rotterdam’s skyline. One of the halls features art about Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly.

    Maas/3e Katendrechtsehoofd

  • City Hall

    There are tours in the 1920 City Hall, built in Beaux-Arts style. You will also find art about Erasmus.

    Coolsingel

More Desiderius Erasmus

  • Rotterdam Public Library page about Erasmus

    The home page for anyone looking for reliable information about the Rotterdam Public Library’s Erasmus collection.

    Read more
  • Digital Erasmus showroom of Bibliotheek Nederland

    Learn more about Erasmus in all of his facets

    Read more
  • Erasmus Center for Early Modern Studies Rotterdam

    Comprehensive information about Erasmus and Rotterdam 1500-1750 for enthusiasts and experts alike

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  • Rotterdam Public Library Erasmus Treasure Vault

    Portrait of many of Erasmus’ books in the Rotterdam Public Library’s Erasmus collection

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