Beurs van Berlage
When walking down Damrak from Centraal Station to Dam Square in Amsterdam, you pass a wine-red brick building, not very elegant, not very inspiring. This building is the Beurs van Berlage, the former Commodity Exchange. Built on reclaimed land, supported by wooden foundation piles that started to rot, the Beurs was saved from demolition in 1970. It is now a listed building and safeguarded for the future.
Beurs van Berlage: a multi-functional building
The Beurs van Berlage is no longer a financial institution, but a multi-functional building . Conferences and exhibitions are held here. You will also find Bistro Berlage, Tony’s Chocolonely super store, Sherlocked Escape Rooms and bicycle repair shop, bicycle parking and luggage lockers.
Architect H.P. Berlage
The Beurs van Berlage was designed by and named after Hendrik Petrus Berlage, the father of modern Dutch architecture. Inspired by the Romanesque and Renaissance building styles, he favoured simplicity and rational use of materials. The Beurs van Berlage was completed in 1903. The building’s most striking element is the square clock tower, a stark contrast to the Art Nouveau designs of other early 20th-century buildings.
Take your time to discover unexpected details both inside and out. Amble through the echoing, high-ceilinged halls whose interior are a mix of wine-red brickwork, shallow-arched arcades and stone pillars. Look up at the globe-shaped lights hanging from the steel roof girders. Admire the wall friezes celebrating the workers and artisans who built the Beurs.
Former Commodity Exchange
The large central hall used to be the Commodities Exchange where sugar, coffee and tea were traded – colonial merchandise from the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. When the new Effectenbeurs, Stock Exchange, was built across the street in 1913, traders moved out and the Beurs lost its commercial function.
Beurs van Berlage, Damrak 243, Amsterdam
Café Beurs van Berlage, Entrance at Beursplein
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photo credit Marianne Crone & Albert van den Boomen