Palácio da Bolsa
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Palácio da Bolsa information
This splendid neoclassical monument (built from 1842 to 1910) honours Porto’s past and present money merchants. Just past the entrance hall is the glass-domed Pátio das Nações (Hall of Nations), where the exchange once operated. But this pales in comparison with rooms deeper inside, and to visit these you must join one of the half-hour guided tours, which set off every 30 minutes and are given in Portuguese, English, French, German and Spanish.
The highlight is a stupendous ballroom called the Salão Árabe (Arabian Hall), with stucco walls that have been teased into complex Moorish designs, then gilded with some 18kg of gold. There’s also a restaurant and wine bar (the appropriately named ‘O Comercial’) for lingering amid the elegance.