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Sights & Landmarks
Bolsa Palace, also known as Palácio da Bolsa in Portuguese and the Stock Exchange Palace in English, is one of the most prominent landmarks in Porto the oldest cultural center of Portugal. Almost fully created in the 19th century, the palace can be found on the Infante D. Henrique Square, in the historic center of the city near other famous historical sites - St. Francis Church and Porto Cathedral. Hence, every tour through Porto includes Bolsa Palace as a must-see for tourists, and not only because it holds the status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Palácio da Bolsa or Bolsa Palace has an eventful and rich history, dating back to 1842 when the first stone was laid in the foundation of the building. It was constructed on the place of the burnt St Francis Convent with the aim of creating the main premises for the Commercial Association of Porto and conducting international trade negotiations and assemblies. Therefore, the building was designed by Joaquim da Costa Lima Júnior to be imposing and spectacular. Overall, the decoration and construction took around 60 years to be completely finished. In fact, only in 1909 were the finishing touches added to the Palace. Naturally, such a long period of building led to the combination of a lot of different influences manifested in the architecture of the Stock Exchange Palace.
The facade of the Bolsa Palace is created in Neoclassical and English Palladian style, reflecting the dominant architectural fashions of Porto at that time. However, the interior of the building is what it's most famous for. Visitors often mention that it seems like one room is more beautiful than the previous one! One of the popular and significant rooms is the central courtyard called Patio of the Nations (Pátio das Nações), crowned by the octagonal iron dome with gorgeous glass panels. It also possesses 20 images of coats of arms, with whom Portugal had commerce raltionships in the 19th century.
Tourists generally try to guess all of the countries represented there and linger here for quite a while. Here, you will even find Gustav Eiffel's cabinet with the desk where he created his most remarkable projects, including Maria Pia Bridge and Pinhão Road Bridge. The absolute highlight is, of course, the luxurious Arabian Hall which took 18 years to complete and has Moorish influences written all over it. With complex ornaments and over ten kilograms of gold in its walls, the lounge was decorated by Gonçalves e Sousa from 1862 to 1880, who was inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Granada.
So, remember to book your visit to the Bolsa Palace and join the guide tours through one of the gorgeous landmarks in the city of Porto!
Chapel of Souls
House of Music
Dom Luis I Bridge
Casa do Infante
Cheese Castle Beach
São Bento railway station
Igreja do Carmo
Ageas Porto Coliseum
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