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.
Architect H.P. Berlage
The Beurs van Berlage, The Berlage Exchange, 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.
Amsterdam – Damrak – Beurs van Berlage
Bock Beer Festival
Today the Beurs van Berlage holds a conference centre, concert halls, an exhibition space and a café-restaurant. The exhibition space displays rotating exhibitions of modern art and design that are too large to be shown in the regular museums. If you want to taste fifty different varieties of dark, slightly sweet beer, join the three-day Bock Beer Festival held in the Beurs van Berlage every October.
Beurs van Berlage Café
If there are no exhibitions or concerts, The Beurs van Berlage Café is open daily. Sit back, enjoy your cappuccino or Heineken and take in the architectural details, including murals representing past, present and future.
Beurs van Berlage
Café Beurs van Berlage
Entrance at Beursplein
Monday – Friday 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday 10.00 – 20.00
Sunday 11.00 – 18.00
photo credit Marianne Crone & Albert van den Boomen