The Palácio da Bolsa
(Stock Exchange Palace) is a historical building in Porto. The palace was built in the 19th century by the city's Commercial Association (Associação Comercial
) in Neoclassical
style. It is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square.
The Palácio da Bolsa is located beside the St
Porto, which was once part of the St Francis Convent, founded in the 13th century. In 1832, during the Liberal
Wars, a fire destroyed the cloisters of the convent, sparing the church. In 1841, Queen
II donated the convent ruins to the merchants of the city, who decided to use the spot to build the seat of the Commercial Association.
Building work began in 1842 following the plans of Porto architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Júnior, who designed a Neoclassical palace of Palladian influence, inspired by previous structures built in the city. Most of the palace was finished by 1850, but the decoration of the interior was only completed in 1910 and involved several different artists.
The highlight of the Palace is the Arab Room, built between 1862 and 1880 by Gonçalves e Sousa. The room is decorated in the exotic Moorish
Revival style, fashionable in the 19th century, and is used as reception hall for personalities and heads of state visiting Porto.