The Keurzaal can be found in the northern wing of the Beurs van Berlage and looks out across the old port and Amsterdam Central Station. The Keurzaal can therefore rightfully call itself the room with the best views from the Beurs. This page tells you more about the history of the Keurzaal.
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.
In 1903, the Keurzaal was an important room used by the corn exchange as a reception area of traders. This is where the quality of the corn was thoroughly inspected in the open air before it was bought up, hence the name Keurzaal (inspection room).
360 degrees Keurzaal
Google Street View allows you to wander through the Beurs van Berlage online. The 360-degree photos of the Keurzaal can be found at the bottom of this page.
History of the Keurzaal
Upon completion, the Keurzaal was an open space that could be used as a reception area for traders of the corn exchange. This open terrace was also used by corn traders in order to inspect the corn samples, used in the trade, in the open air, in daylight.
After the corn had been inspected in this open area, samples were transferred to the adjoining Graanbeurszaal. Here, traders could view the various types of corn, compare them and let themselves be convinced by sellers. They then moved to the Veilingzaal, where they could take part in the auction to buy up batches of corn.
In later years, the Keurzaal got a roof and the open windows were covered with glass so as to preserve the views of Central Station. The Keurzaal is now mainly used as a unique events venue.
To the left of the window in the Keurzaal we see the original plaque for the world’s first stock exchange. This was the Beurs van Hendrick de Keyser at Rokin. Above the plaque we see the symbols of Mercury, the god of trade: a cock holding Mercury’s staff, the Caduceus.
The text on the plaque indicates that the first brick was laid on 29 May 1608 and that the first day of trading took place on 1 August 1613: