Amsterdam Oersoep – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

Amsterdam Oersoep

A Dutch passageway's artistic, aquatic-themed makeover pays tribute to the capital city's famed waterways. 


A mosaic of Italian glass and other ornamental decor has transformed Amsterdam’s Beurspassage into a beautiful piece of public art called “Amsterdam Oersoep.” Artists Arno Coenen, Iris Roskam, and Hans van Bentem are responsible for the corridor’s makeover.

Amsterdam Oersoep, which means “primordial sea,” pays tribute to Amsterdam’s famed canals. It’s also a visual narrative that tells the story of how all of Earth’s lifeforms originated from water. Images associated with the Dutch city’s iconic waterways fill the approximately 4,840-square-foot glass mosaic, and there are also Art deco mirrors and chandeliers made from recycled bicycle parts. The floors, which were made with traditional Italian Terrazzo, were designed with patterns that mimic those typically found at archaeological excavations.

The artists gave the Beurspassage its dazzling renovation as part of a redevelopment project called Nowadays. The passageway is a fairly popular place among both locals and tourists.

Know Before You Go

It is located between Nieuwendijk and Damrak - look for the Primark store and you will find it.

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