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gemeente (municipality) and river port, western Netherlands, at the confluence of the Schie and Nieuwe Maas (New Meuse) rivers, just west of Rotterdam. Named for an early dam on the Schie, it was chartered in 1273 and conducted a flourishing medieval trade in fish and grain until it was superseded by Rotterdam. Historic landmarks are the 15th-century church of St. John, the 17th-century town hall, the corn exchange (1792), and the ruins of Mathenesse Castle (1260). Schiedam is famous for its gin and liquor distilleries, and it is a major shipbuilding centre. It also has a wide range of manufactures and service industries. There is a municipal museum. Pop. (2007 est.) 75,162.