Palacio da Bolsa

Palacio da Bolsa: A Window to Fascinating Art and Rich History

Porto, the second largest city of Portugal, is much more than an avenue of pilgrimage for wine lovers—although the city’s wine industry is one of its main attractions. Through the years, its cobble-stone streets, fascinating architecture, and rich history have always fascinated a large number of people from many parts of the world. Palacio da Bolsa in Porto is one tourist destination that exemplifies the country’s rich history and its love for art.

Built in the 19th century, Palacio da Bolsa is a historical building that exudes a vast neoclassical facade—a proof of the English influence on Porto architecture. The palace was built and designed by some celebrated artists, including Tomás Augusto Soler,  and Gustavo Gonçalves e Sousa ,  mainly to impress European investors. Inside it, most especially the Arab Room, could be mistaken for a royal palace.  The Arab Hall is considered the finest in Porto, showcasing a fascinating combination of western and eastern influences.

Other most impressive parts of the palace are the atrium that is covered by a huge metal dome; and the Golden Room, famous for its gilded stucco ceiling. The stairway that leads to the second storey is also magnificently decorated and designed by world-renowned sculptors like António Lopes and António Soares dos Reis.

Palacio da Bolsa is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square, the heart of Porto’s historic area, that is now listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.  Located next to the palace is the St. Francis Church, another attraction that also showcases magnificent architecture.  The church was established in the 13th century and was destroyed by fire during the Liberal Wars in 1832.

Palacio da Bolsa in Porto is indeed one place that tourists should not miss when visiting the city. Behind the palace’s beautiful facade lies not only the country’s rich history, but also lies a proof of the country’s love for art, which has never wavered through time.

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