Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)
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Located on the Rua de Ferreira Borges, next to the Igreja de São Francisco, this national monument, also known as The Stock Exchange Palace, is the property and headquarters of the Commercial Association of Porto. It is one of the most visited attractions within the World Heritage Centre of Porto. Designed in a neoclassical style by Joaquim da Costa Lima, construction started in 1842 and took 30 years to build. One could be mistaken in believing the Palace has royal connections, however the purpose of this construction has always commerce. A true reflection of Porto's strong work ethic. The neoclassical facade is designed to impress and indicates the opulent interior.

Of particular note is the celebrated Arabian Hall, said to have been inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Amazingly ornate, the room is adorned with arabesque, intricate wood engraving and stained glass windows in an Arabic style. The Nations' Room (Patio das Nações) exhibits the flags of the countries with commercial relations with Porto. The garden, monumental staircase and bronze chandeliers are also worth a mention. As well as being a top tourist attraction, Palácio da Bolsa is also Porto's top exhibition and conference venue.


Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)

Main Hall

Visits are only available as part of a guided tour. Tickets can be purchased in the shop at the entrance. The first chamber you'll come to is the central courtyard room Patio das Nações (The Hall of Nations) with an impressive iron-framed glass-domed ceiling. The ceiling and other elements of the Palácio da Bolsa, was designed by Tomás Soller. The light pouring through the roof illuminates the many frescoes, sculptures, and 20 coat-of-arms representing the countries Portugal have friendly and commercial relations with. In keeping with the Romanticism zeal of the 19th century, the mosaic floor drew inspiration from the Greco-Roman floors found at Pompeii. The walls of the Patio das Nações were fully restored between 2007 and 2008, with the addition of climate control systems.

The Escadaria Nobre (grand staircase) lives up to its name. Split over two flights, the stairs lead up to the first floor rooms. Designed by Gustavo Adolpho Gonçalves e Sousa the staircase is carved from marble and festooned with garlands, Corinthian capitals and fluted pilasters. Hanging from either side of an oval skylit domed ceiling above are two large bronze chandeliers, the first lights in Porto to be powered by electricity.

The Sala do Tribunal (Tribunal Room) is where merchants' and customers' disputes are heard and resolved. In contrast to other rooms, it is decorated in the French Renaissance style. Huge oil paintings covering the walls depict some of Porto's traders and guildsmen. Two sides of the room contain ornately carved seating for the jurors, contrasting with the more basic seating for the public. The ceiling is richly decorated with painted panels.

An antique telegraph machine, encased in glass, can be found in the Sala do Telégrafo, a small room dedicated for its use. Messages were relayed from the docks on the Douro to the Porto Commercial Association regarding import and export.

The genius engineer Gustave Eiffel designed his most distinguished works in the room that bears his name. He created the Dona Maria Pia Bridge in Porto, the dual bridge in Viana do Castelo, the railway bridge in Barçelos and the road bridge in Pinhão. The Gustave Eiffel Cabinet is a tribute to the great man who did much to shape modern Portugal. Other rooms on the first floor continue to be used for gatherings for the Commercial Association of Porto, such as the President's Room, whereas others are hired out for special functions and ceremonies.

Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)

Main staircase

Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)

Arab room

The most impressive of all the rooms and the grand finale of the tour, is the stupendously decorated Salão Arabe. Every centimetre is richly decorated. At the time of construction (between 1862 and 1880), Moorish styling was enjoying a revival as part of the Romanticism movement (Monserrate Palace in Sintra being a prime example). The room was created by Gustavo Adolfo Gonçalves de Sousa (1818-1899), who also designed the Grand Staircase. He was possibly inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada.

The visitor enters through double doors intricately decorated with stained glass. Once through the entrance, the wow factor is instant. You might be forgiven for not noticing the magnificent wood floor you're standing on. It is composed of mahogany, rosewood and maple inlaid with arabesque geometric patterns. The room was used as a reception room and was intended to impress. It is still used for the most important official ceremonies of the city of Porto.

Yellow Bus Tour

Getting to the Palácio da Bolsa

Bus: 1, 57, 91, 23 and 49 | Timetable | STCP Website

Contact Details
Rua de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal. | 41° 08' 36.8"N | 08° 36'52.1"W
+351 223 399 000 | | |  Website

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