Amsterdam, Burcht van Berlage, internal view hallway second floor

Berlage’s Fortress

The Union building of the General Diamond Workers Union of the Netherlands (Algemene Nederlandse Diamant­bewerkers Bond) was soon nicknamed “Berlage’s Fortress”. It is the oldest union building in the Netherlands, designed by Berlage, commissioned by the ANDB in 1899-1900 and designed at the same time as Berlage’s Stock Exchange on the Damrak. Berlage worked together with Richard Roland Holst who painted the murals. The stairway has lamps from 1919 by Jan Eisenloeffel.

All photos: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (

The “Burcht van Berlage” is situated on Henri Polak­laan 9 in the Plantage neighbor­hood in Amsterdam, near Artis Zoo. Henri Polak was the chairman and driving force of the ANDB — he wanted to create a monument to the workers movement. From 1991 the National Union Museum was housed here for a number of years. The building was completely restored in 2008 and is a Dutch national monument. Since 2011 it houses the Research and Documentation Center of the Dutch Unions. A plaque in the hallway commemorates the Jewish diamant workers who were deported during the Second World War.

De Burcht website:

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