The Berlage zaal was originally used by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a meeting room. This room is entirely dedicated to Amsterdam and the city’s logo is shown in a central location on the floor. This page tells you more about the history of the Berlage zaal.
Merchants’ trade exchange
The Beurs van Berlage was designed more than a century ago as a merchants’ trade exchange by Hendrik Petrus Berlage, one of the most prominent architects from the Netherlands. The merchants’ trade exchange was opened by Queen Wilhelmina on 27 May 1903. However, the Berlage zaal took longer to finish because of the enormous stained-glass windows. From 1910, the room was used as a meeting room and it still is.
360 degrees Berlage zaal
Google Street View allows you to wander through the Beurs van Berlage online.. The 360-degrees photos of the Berlage zaal can be found at the bottom of this page.
Around 1904, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry took up an increasingly more important role in the Dutch economy and as such it was given its own room in the Beurs van Berlage where they could gather. The Chamber of Commerce acted as supervisor of regional commerce and industry.
During the meetings in the Berlage zaal, they decided to set up the Girodienst bij Postkantoren (Post Office Giro Institution). In addition to its use for meetings, the Berlage zaal was also used as an official reception room by the Municipality.
The Berlage zaal was the crown in Berlage’s work, who decorated the meeting room with stained-glass windows depicting various personifications of planets, but also of the city of Amsterdam.
The top row in the stained-glass window shows the personifications of the planets and the moon, with the virtues of Amsterdam: Concord, Power, Strength, Justice, Joy, Knowledge and Moderation.
Below that, we can see the morning, the trade, industry and evening, linked to the eastern, southern, northern and western winds. In the centre we see the city virgin of Amsterdam, flanked by Freedom and Health.
The bottom row shows the various oceans and maritime industry: the Indian Ocean, Kasteel der Vrijheid-Vissersvaart-Vrachtvaart, Rijnstroom, IJ and Amstel, the North Sea, Driftig Eyckenhuis-Ontdekkingsvaart-Spelevaart, and the Atlantic Ocean.