Bolsa Palace, is a neoclassical style palace from the 19th century that was built by the city's Commercial Association (Associação Comercial). Some rooms of this building are truly masterpieces; you will love the Nations Courtyard and the Arab room.
The Nations Courtyard (Pátio das Nações) is decorated with the painted coats-of-arms of Portugal and the countries with which Portugal had commercial relations in the XIX century.
The biggest masterpiece of the Palace is, however, the Arab Room, it took 18 years to be completed (1862 to 1880 by Gonçalves de Sousa.), and is decorated in an exotic Moorish style, fashionable in the XIX century.
In the Palace, you will also see other several rooms - Tribunal Room, Golden Room, Noble Staircase that have their own history.
Gallery of Former Presidents - A Space with the purpose of honoring all the former presidents of the institution, one of the most relevant in the country, from its foundation in 1834 to the present day.
Library - This room is not open to the public, to better preserve the valuable collection of books there, but we highlight the ceiling, by Antonio Carneiro, who represents Eco, Messenger of the Universal Language.
Patio of the Nations - The dome of iron and glass by Tomas Soller is an admirable structure, which is flanked in all its contour by 20 coats of arms representing the countries with which Portugal maintained relations of friendship and commerce in the 19th century. We also highlight the pavement, covered in mosaic inspired by the Greco-Roman models discovered in Pompeii.
Noble Staircase - This staircase with remarkable granite decorative details by Gustavo Adolfpho Gonçalves y Sousa, the two imposing chandeliers and the skylight give this space its own charisma.
Court Room - It is in this room, where the new confreres of the Port Wine Confraternity are enthroned. We highlight in this room, in French renaissance style, the four huge windows, the panels with themes related to the former function of the room and the economic activities of the city and region.
Jury Room - Here gathered the judges of the former Commercial Court, in this room we can find 12 paintings, by the painter Henrique Medina, donated by himself in the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Porto Commercial Association.
Telegraph Room - In this room is the old Commercial Association of Porto Telegraph which served to transmit information about the goods that entered the Barra do Douro.
Gustave Eiffel's Cabinet - It was in this room that Gustavo Eiffel designed his most emblematic works in Portugal - Ponte D. Maria Pia (Porto), the Viana do Castelo double Bridge, the Barcelos Railway Bridge or the Pinhão Road Bridge. This room is a tribute to the genius Gustavo Eiffel who left his mark in the city of Porto.
President's Room - Here you can see oil paintings from 1890, by Marques de Oliveira, which have themes related to the traditional works of the Roman civilization. In addition to these paintings you can appreciate the magnificent floor carved in exotic woods of Brazilian and African origin and the marble fireplace by the sculptor Teixeira Lopes.
Golden Room - In this room, the Director Board of the Commercial Association of Porto still meets every first Monday of each month. The floor, the stucco ceiling and the furniture are some of the details to appreciate.
General Meetings Room - The General Assemblies of the Commercial Association of Porto are still held here. This room with its enormous chandelier in the center, has a very peculiar detail, its walls, although they seem, are not made in wood but in plaster, this detail is due to the great mastery of the artifices that made it.
Portraits Room - This room, decorated according to Louis XVI’ style, honors the last six kings of the Bragança Dynasty. This tribute is to D. Maria II for the donation of the ruins of the extinct Convent of S. Francisco, on which the Palácio da Bolsa was built, to the Commercial Association of Porto. The table in this room, which took 3 years to complete, by the engraver Zeferino José Pinto, received an honorable mention at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition, is also worthy of note.
Arab Lounge - It is said that Gustavo Adolfo Gonçalves de Sousa, architect who built this room, was inspired by the Alhambra Palace, and also here the pavement consists of the best woods. The Arab Hall is the most important hall, of official acts, of the city of Porto.
- Location: Rua Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto Portugal.
- Opening hours: November to March 9h00 - 12h30 / 14h00 - 17h30; April to October 9h00 - 18h30.
- Prices: Adults: 8,50€; Children (under 12 years): Free.
- How to get there: 15 min walk from Aliados Avenue.
The ticket is not cheap, but the Arab room is worth it.