Congress Venue/Excursions



The venue for the Netherlands flag Congress 2013 is Engels Congress Center, situated in the middle of the city's business and shopping center. Together with Engels Grandcafe and Restaurant, It is part of a vast building (the"Groothandelsgebouw" or "Wholesale House ) where hundreds of trading and service rendering businesses have their modern offices. The building was constructed soon after World War II; nearly the entire city center of Rotterdam was destroyed in May 1940. The "Groothandelsgebouw" is next to the brand new Rotterdam Central Railway Station, with its Metro/Underground and tramway/bus connection and within walking distance (1 kilometer/ 10 minutes) of the preferred NH Atlanta Rotterdam Hotel. The building, recently totally restored, is an official state monument with a rich history but modern at the same time.  Engels Congress Center offers ICV 25 a state-of-the-art congress venue with a variety of small and large meeting rooms (10-1,000 persons) and with its own Grandcafe/Restaurant and a roof terrace that is open for all users of the congress center. Exhibition and lobby areas are close   to the various auditoriums. These areas are well-suited for exhibitions, poster presentations, bazars, luncheons and coffee/tea breaks. The Center, located at Stationsplein 45 along the Weena Boulevard has its own technical staff and modern communication equipment. Engels is a valued sponsor of the Rotterdam International Flag Parade and ICV25.


Welcome to the Rotterdam reception in the City Hall

(Monday, 5 August, 2013)




The Mayor and the City Council of Rotterdam cordially invite all participants – companions included – of the 25th International Congress of Vexillology 2013 for a reception in the City Hall at Coolsingel 40. In the “Burgerzaal” (Civilian Hall) of the building drinks will be served. Visitors always are amazed by the variety of wall paintings in this hall. For vexillologists: enjoy the paintings with the colourful flags of communities which were once independent before they became part of the city of Rotterdam and flags of friendly nations. img_9921Welcome to the City Hall!


vredespaleisThe Peace Palace in The Hague.

(Wednesday, 7 August, 2013)


Part of the official congress program – and with its cost included in the congress fee – is a visit to the world wide known Peace Palace in The Hague. The Peace Palace is often called “the embodiment of the world’s best intentions and expectations” and: “the seat of international law”, because it houses the famous International Court of Justice (the principal judicial body of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law, the Peace Palace Library and the Carnegie Foundation. In 1903 the American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated the money (1,5 million dollars) for a Peace Temple that would house the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In that year the Carnegie Foundation was founded to manage the construction, ownership and maintenance of the Palace. The Palace opened its gates in 1913 after 6 years of construction. It fitted perfectly with the dream of world peace. It was hailed as a true dream palace for world peace: “just as powerful and grand as the idea of world peace itself”. In 1914 World War I broke out....

The Carnegie Foundation is still responsible for the total management and will be FIAV’s host. The Palace is filled with gifts of many nations and it also features a number of statues, busts and portraits of prominent peace activists. This collection of gifts has made the interior of the Palace a colourful and varied collection of rare works of world art. During a guided tour of the Palace and the wonderful gardens these special items from all over the world will be seen as well as the Great Hall of Justice, the seat of the Court. The gardens are considered among the most successful designs of the English landscape architects.


33049 02The Hague Flag Parade

On the way from the Peace Palace to the National Museum of Ethnology, the tour will stop at The Hague Flag Parade: a vast parade of the flags of all members of the United Nations, exhibited in a long double line of flag poles: great to see and to make pictures!




The National Museum of Ethnology.


This museum is a museum about ethnology in the Netherlands. It started in 1837 in Leyden. It was the first museum in Europe which was designed to demonstrate that collecting the artefacts of man could mean more than the mere accumulation of curiosities. From the very outset this innovative institution incorporated at least four basic principles: collecting, scientific research, presentation to the public and educational guidance. The collection counts over 200.000 items; a great deal of them came from the former Netherlands East Indies like wayang, batik and kris and.....flags! In the Indonesian archipelago the use of flags by the many Principalities was known for centuries.


A number of these very old and rare flags have been collected, not in the museum itself but in a special “climate depot” in a small village near The Hague. These flags are never exhibited but will be shown exclusively to the ICV 2013 congress participants and their companions. Between the Peace Palace/ The Hague Flag Parade tour and the “flag depot”, lunch will be served in “The Grape Garden”, a restaurant in the middle of the Westland “Glass City”, the center of “agri-business”, an area with thousands of green-houses in which fruit, flowers and vegetables grow before being exported to all over Europe and the USA.


Back in Rotterdam the Rotterdam Port Authority awaits congress participants for a port tour on board a Spidoboat with buffet dinner.



Boat trip through the port of Rotterdam.

(Wednesday, 7 August, 2013)


A "water related" part of the official congress program is a port trip aboard one of the ultramodern ships of the Spido company and sponsored by the Rotterdam Port Authority, a prominent founding member of the Rotterdam Flag Parade. At the base of the Erasmusbridge (connecting the north and the south bank of the city) Spido and the Port Authority welcome you to enjoy a surprising tour along the Rotterdam Flag Parade, the impressive Rotterdam sky line, harbour basins, shipyards, seagoing and inland vessels, super tankers and container carriers of all kinds and from all over the world (with their corresponding flags).

One of the main ports and the largest logistic and industrial hub of Europe with an annual throughput of 434 million tons of cargo in 2011, Rotterdam is by far the largest seaport of Europe. The port is the gateway to a European market of more than 350 million consumers. Rotterdam got its position to the excellent accessibility via the sea, the hinterland connections and the many companies and organisations active in the port and industrial complex. The port stretches out over 40 kilometres and measures about 10.500 ha. Spido is a specialist in events held on water. The ships are new and modern and have all the best to offer as far as atmosphere and comfort are concerned. The luxurious passenger ships fit every occasion perfectly. ICV 2013 participants, being the guests of the Port Authority, are really welcome aboard the Spido ship.

This trip and buffet dinner are included in the congress fee.



Maritime Museum Rotterdam.

(Thursday, 8 August, 2013)

vlaggetjeSituated in the bustling heart of Rotterdam, the Maritime Museum Rotterdam is one of the world’s top maritime museums. It was founded in 1874 and is the oldest maritime museum in the Netherlands. It contains half a million artefacts. A world famous object is the Mataró Model from the 15th century: the oldest known West European ship model. It can be admired in this museum. But the ICV 2013 guests will primarily visit this museum because of a special exhibition on old, handpainted flags, produced as “give aways” to farmers, shipowners and tradesmen in the middle of the 19th century. This unique exhibition has been set up as a special welcome to the ICV 2013 guests: these rare flags have never before been shown to the public.

This excursion and buffet dinner are included in the congress fee.


Closing dinner in the Laurens Church Rotterdam (not included in the congress fee).

(Friday, 9 August, 2013)

laurenskerk-schipThe Laurens Church was built between 1449 and 1525 right behind the dam that cut off the river Rotte from the river Maas/Meuse. To this dam Rotterdam owes its name. The church itself has always been austere; that fitted a population that earned its living with fishery and shipping. The effects of the Protestant Reformation also made for the austerity. In 1572 the church was stripped of the sculptures customary in catholic churches. Because of the French Revolution - almost 300 years later - family coats of arms on tombstones also were stripped away. Standing outside you become impressed with the austerity of the building. Impressive also are the work and the gifts of many which made it possible to turn the ruins of the church after the bombing in May 1940 into one that again is open to everybody every day. The church has three organs; the principal organ is the largest completely mechanical organ in Europe with over 7600 organ pipes and 85 stops. A permanent exhibition lets its visitors relive the past through a surprising lay-out and decoration of the chapels: the story of the church is told in a collage of images, colours, shapes, texts, music and words. Sometimes moving, often funny, informative but never dull. In the last decade the church has increasingly become a multifunctional building with of course church services, but as well concerts, symposia, parties, business presentations and fairs: a building of and for the Rotterdam people. And for the closing dinner of the ICV 2013.



Post conference tour (optional, not included in the congress fee)


(Saturday, 10 August, 2013)


scheepvaartmuseum amsterdam

A post conference tour for interested participants will visit the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam, together with the famous ship “Amsterdam”, a replica of an 18th century Dutch East Indiaman. Program: in the morning by train to Amsterdam (1 hour), luncheon in the museum, visit to the museum, in the afternoon by train back to Rotterdam. In the fee for this excursion €30,-, are included, the lunch and the museum entrance fee. This museum shows how the Dutch culture has been shaped by the sea. Interactive exhibitions allow visitors to explore 500 years of maritime history. The museum is one of the most renowned  maritime museums in the world. It is housed in the former National Naval Depot, built in 1656 as a naval arsenal. In 2011 an extensive project refurbished and restyled this monumental building which boasts the world’s second largest collection in its field. The objective was “to create a Museum of Excellence”. Three “theme expositions” will be shown with a large number of paintings of ships with their overwhelming variety of flags.


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Netherlands Flag Congress 2013

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