Former Presidents Gallery
This new space is the result of the rehabilitation of former offices with the purpose to honour all the presidents of the Porto Commercial Association, since its foundation in 1834, till nowadays. The primary objective of this room is to honour all the presidents of the Commercial Association, all those Men who worked, and sill work, so hard in order to make this institution one of the most recognized ones in the country.
Contrary to all other rooms of the building, this one is not open to visitors, due to its invaluable and priceless collection of books. At the time, the associates of the house used this room in order to read the newspapers from all over the world and to consult the reports and books with commercial content.
Equally valuable are the artistic watches, as well as two enormous globes of the XIX century, being one of them the earthly representation and the other one the celestial sphere that surrounds us.
There is also a portrait of Ferreira Borges, dated from 1839, executed by José Alves Ferreira. It is a tribute to the man who created the first Portuguese Commercial Code.
The ceiling, by António Carneiro, represents Eco, the messenger of the universal language. It is a masculine figure, on a cart pulled by white horses, holding the most well known commercial symbol, the caduceus.
Hall of Nations
It is inevitable that our first glance is guided to the iron and glass dome, by Tomás Soller. It is an impressive structure, difficult to match, flanked all around by 20 coat-of-arms of all the countries with which Portugal held commercial and friendly relations at the time.
The full restoration of the patio and its dome was initiated in 2007 and concluded in 2008. This structure has some modernizations concerning air circulation being already equipped with automatic louvered vents, precipitation sensors and anemometers that measure the wind speed.
The coat of arms had a technical intervention between 2014 and 2015.
This staircase, that gives access to the first floor of the building, by Gustavo Adolfpho Gonçalves e Sousa, stays engraved in the memory of its visitants. The decorative details in granite, such as festoons, Corinthian capitals and corrugated pilasters, amongst others, are some of the endless details of this space.
The two existing chandeliers, by Soares dos Reis, are a remembrance that this building was one of the first ones, in the city of Porto, to be electrified.
A small reference to the majestical roof skylight, whose total restoration was concluded in the year of 2012.
The Commercial Court Room
With initial traces by Joel Pereira da Silva, which was later on reformulated by the architect Marques da Silva, it is in this room, with French renaissance style, that the new confreres of the Port Wine brotherhood are enthroned. Amongst many personalities we have Prince Albert II of Monaco, the President of the Portuguese Republic Professor Cavaco Silva, and many others.
The restoration of the four monumental windows occurred between 2007 and 2014, being the coloured lateral ones of French origin and the central one from Lisbon. The central glass engraving was made by a company from Gondomar and the restoration contract by an architect from Porto de Mós.
Jurors Room – Medina Museum
This is the room where the jurors gathered, to present the actions taken to trial in the ancient Commercial Court.
The twelve paintings that are here exposed were donated to this institution by the painter himself, Henrique Medina, in the ambit of the commemoration of the 150 years of the Porto Commercial Association.
This small room contains the ancient telegraph of the Porto Commercial Association used to pass information, related to merchandise, when entering the mouth of the river Douro.
The design of this device was conceived by the two Portuguese José da Parada e Silva Leitão, professor of physics at the Porto Polytechnic Academy and Francisco António Galho, an artist of the city.
Gustave Eiffel Cabinet
It was here that Gustave Eiffel opened his wings to imagination and his genius projecting pieces so unique and emblematic such as the bridge D. Maria Pia, here in Porto, the double bridge in Viana do Castelo, the railway bridge in Barcelos or the road bridge in Pinhão.
This room is a tribute to a genius man, who took the iron constructions to a level of masterpiece and durability never dreamt before. A master who left his stamp in the city of Porto and who honoured the Porto Commercial Association with his presence.
The oil paintings of this room, by Marques de Oliveira from 1890, present the traditional work of Roman civilization as thematic.
Worthwhile emphasizing, apart from the magnificent carved pavement with exotic woods of Brazilian and African origin, is the marble fireplace by the sculptor Teixeira Lopes, from which the lateral columns detach with feminine statues and in its interior, in wrought iron, we have allegories to the river Douro and the commerce.
This room is currently still used by the Board of Directors, made up by 15 elements who represent as many sectors of activity and who are elected and not remunerated, for their monthly meetings.
In addition to the interesting pavement we have the stucco ceiling, the furniture by Marques da Silva, the paintings of former presidents and the two bronze boards, exhibiting the names of the presidents of the two centuries of this institution.
General Assembly Room
Here, the Porto Commercial Association holds two annual general assemblies. Projected by Tomás Soller between 1879 and 1883, and later on modified by José de Macedo Araújo Júnior between 1883 and 1890, the whole room, excluding the chandelier in the centre weighting approximately one ton, is an immense optical illusion given the way the craftsmen, using plaster, have achieved to make the walls look like they would have been made of wood.
This room, especially the ceiling, has been restored in 2014.
Decorated in Louis XVI style, this room honours the last six kings of the Bragança dynasty. What stands out the most is, without a doubt, the pavement with a rare visual effect of illusory depth.
With this symbolic homage, the Porto Commercial Association thanked D. Maria II the donation of the ruins of the extinct convent S. Francisco.
The exposed table, by the Portuguese wood carver Zeferino José Pinto, took three years to be completed and achieved an honourable mention at the universal exposition of Paris in 1867.
The construction of this room, by architect Gustavo Adolfo Gonçalves de Sousa, inspired in the Alhambra palace, was initiated on the 15th of September of 1862 and finished on the 12th of June of 1880. As in the rest of the building, this room also has a pavement with the best woods such as mahogany, jacaranda, Aspidosperma Olivaceum, rosewood and plane.
The Arabian room is Porto’s most important hall for official acts and also stage for hundreds of concerts and many prestigious solemnities that very much honour the name Portugal and project it worldwide.
Here, the most recent intervention occurred between 2009 and 2010.