Vakbondsmuseum - Trade Unions Museum in Amsterdam

Unions Museum BuildingDutch trade unions differ from the similar organizations in most of Europe, since they have always tried politically to stay in the center and to look for a compromise and not for a fight. Accordingly, The Trade Unions Museum located in the beautiful beginning 20c. building called De Burcht (Stronghold), through its modest exhibits tries to show the history of the movement and not their struggle and the accent has not been put on conflict, but on understanding.

De Burcht Today, more a social discourse and cultural center than the headquarters of a movement, building of De Burcht has been originally constructed in 1903 for the Trade Union of the Diamond Workers (ANDB), by Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Dutch most famous architect. If you have seen his Amsterdam stock exchange called today Beurs van Berlage, you will immediately recognize the architect's style - sober and decorative at the same time.

De Burcht really looks like a stronghold. Its walls are thick and it has characteristic for many Berlage buildings tower. Build from many sorts of bricks, stones and tiles, with stained glass windows inside could be easily called the jugendstil castle. The ornamental symbol of the ANDB trade union reappears in many motives of the decoration. Inside - the typical for art nouveau wall paintings by Roland Holst, only recently renovated (2001) represent among other motives two trade unionist biggest fears - The Misery and The Corruption.

Unions Museum EntranceThe feel

De Burcht is more interesting as an architecture landmark, than a museum, unless of course you are interested in the trade unions history. In the cellar, three small showcases present the diamond workers tools from the beginning of the 20 century. You may notice how primitive they were to understand why the diamond workers had to organize themselves. The museum is located in a direct proximity of Artis and the WWII Resistance Museum, so it may be a tip for an additional short detour.


Tuesday - Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed on Monday and all holidays.


Adults: €2,50
Students, trade union members (ID required): €1,25
Children until the age of 12, visitors with the Museum card, school groups free

Unions Museum Interior How to get there

Walking: from the Waterlooplein (ca. 10 minutes).
By tram: from the Central Station line 9, exit on stop Plantage Kerklaan, and walk (5 minutes) to Henri Polaklaan.
By car:
from the Amsterdam ring (A10) take the exit S114 Artis. Ride through the Piet Hein tunnel staying on the left lane and follow the signs S100 Artis/Centrum Oostzijde. Pass Artis (on your left) and take on the first stop lights right in Plantage Parklaan and again right in Henri Polaklaan. The museum will be directly on your left.
You should be able to find a metered parking place at the museum, or park your car in the Artis Zoo car park and walk to the museum. You should pay for your Artis parking at the museum reception (to get the card to leave the parking - Dutch: uitrijkaart) at € 8,50.


Vakbondsmuseum - Trade Unions Museum in Amsterdam
Henri Polaklaan 9
1018 CP   Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 6241166

Vakbondsmuseum - Trade Unions Museum in Amsterdam on the map