Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam
Beurs van Berlage (Stock Exchange by Berlage), sometimes called short: Beurs Berlage, is a hundred years old former building of the Stock Exchange in Amsterdam, now used as an exhibition and concert hall.
Beurs van Berlage is an important monument of the modern Dutch architecture. It was built between 1898 and 1903 by the prominent Dutch architect of the 20th century Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856-1934). Berlage costructed the Beurs on the newly created piece of land obtained by covering the city oldest harbour basin located in the very center of Amsterdam.
The architectural importance of the Berlage Beurs lays in its original volume and the new aesthetics it proposed at the time. Here is the sober brick building, which does not try to immitate ghotic or renaissance as all important city buildings in Amsterdam erected at the end of the 19th century (just to name Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Central Station, Stadsschouwburg), but establishes its own, new style.
The Beurs van Berlage building is simple, almost sober in its form. Its main decoration is a big clock place high on the tower. On the corners of the Beurs stand three sculpture figures, that of Gijsbrecht van Aemstel, a legendary, celebrated in literature founder of Amsterdam, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a hero officer of Dutch East India Company from its beginnings in the 17th century, and Hugo de Groot (Grotius), a humanist, writer, philosopher and lawyer of international importance.
The Beurs van Berlage interriors The Beurs van Berlage has unique and well preserved interriors. The Main Hall, used originally as a trading floor for commodities, strikes with its simplicity but at the same time with mastership of its decorations.
The roof, made of double glass panes gives a lot of natural light inside the building. Several sorts of profiled and glazed bricks, as well as stone, wood and iron were used in a harmoniuos way.
Famous at the time artist Jan Toroop created three big tableaus made from tiles, representing “The Past”, “The Present Time” and “The Future”.
The stock traders did not well receive other Jan Toroop´s ceramic decorations, representing different forms of human labour. There were calls to remove them, as they were thought to be an expression of the socialist ideas.
Two wall paintings representing "Industry” and "Commerce” are by Richard Roland Holst, decorative relief made of terracota and representing human progress is by Lambertus Zijl.
Beurs van Berlage has been at the time of its consruction, in an innovative building, which brought an international recognition to its creator and influenced other architects in the Netherlands, especially from the Amsterdam School movement.
Beurs van Berlage today – Palazzo Publico
Beurs Berlage served for almost century as Amsterdam stock and commodities exchange quarters. As the trading activities grew, the building became too small and already in 1912 stocks trading had to be moved to the new building at Beursplein 5. Still, some forms of trading in commodities were located in the Beurs van Berlage until 1998.
Today, the Dutch like to call the Beurs´s function with an Italian expression - Palazzo Publico, a public hall. With a surface area of almost 1600 m2, the Main Hall of the Beurs van Berlage is the largest in the centre of Amsterdam. It was here, that in 2002 the civil wedding ceremony took place between the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima before proceeding to the Nieuwe Kerk.
The former Stock Exchange Room of the Beurs is now a concert hall of superb acustics, the seat of the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra.
Being the building of the public utility, the Beurs van Berlage finds itself in permanent financial difficulties. In April of 2007 the municipality of Amsterdam helped by the group of financiers bought the building for 15 million euro, bailing it out from bankruptcy.
Exhibitions and concerts
For the schedule of exhibitions and concerts check the Beurs website and the Amsterdam newspapers.
Beurs van Berlage
1012 ZJ Amsterdam telephone: +31 20 530 41 41
How to get there
Walking from the Dam square (3 minutes), just behind the Bijenkorf departement store, in a direct proximity of the Centraal Station (5 minutes walk).
Access to the building
Beurs van Berlage is an exhibition and concert hall, and it might be difficult to visit it only for its architecture. Nevertheless, the café located in the building, is open every day to the public.
Monday till Saturday
11a.m.–6p.m. telephone: +31 20 638 39 14
For the possibilities of the space rental or organizing an event, contact Beurs van Berlage Catering en Verhuur BV.
Telephone: +31 20 530 41 41