Bolsa de Comercio de MadridCategory: Madrid
Are you planning to visit Spain in the near future and looking for some interesting sites to visit. Do you have a combined interest in finance and architecture? If so, the Bolsa de Comerico, commonly referred to as the Madrid Stock Exchange, is definitely a site you’ll want to add to your itinerary. To help you become more familiar with this attraction, below we have provided a bit of background on the Bolsa de Comerico, beginning with its history and concluding with some interesting facts regarding the building in which the market is housed.
Bolsa de Comerico: History
The Bolsa de Comerico, or Madrid Stock Exchange, is the largest stock market in Spain. It is located in the Palacio de la Bolsa de Madrid, and its benchmark is the General Index of the Madrid Stock Exchange IGBM.
The Madrid Stock Exchange, as an organization, did not come into being until the early 19th century, but its roots can be traced back to the 13th century and “juros.” Juros were state issues of paper on which a debt was guaranteed and were the first form of government debt. Fast forward to the 19th century and the Spanish War of Independence and you’ll remember that Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, was appointed King of Spain by the latter in 1808. In 1809, he decided he wanted to open a stock exchange in Madrid, following in the footsteps of similar exchanges that had previously opened in Paris (1734) and London (1804). The site chosen for this new stock exchange was the Convent of San Felipe Real, in the Puerta del Sol, but because the majority of the public was against the project, the efforts of the self-proclaimed king were stalled, until finally, in 1813, near the close of the war, Joseph Bonaparte was expelled from the country.
Ferdinand (the Desired) became the new King of Spain following the war, but the country had inherited a load of public debt as a result of the war, created by the armed conflicts that occurred during the reigns of Charles IV and Carlos III, the father and grandfather of Ferdinand respectively. Because of this, the creation of a market exchange that would help finance these wars became inevitable, and on September 30, 1831, the “Act of Creation and Organization of the Madrid Stock Exchange,” written by Pedro Sainz de Andino, was approved into law.
Bolsa de Comerico: The Building
The Madrid Stock Exchange, which is located in the same plaza as the Hotel Ritz, is unquestionably the business center of the city, but the building in which it is now housed is also a national landmark.
In 1884, Enrique María Repullés won a country-wide competition to design the Bolsa de Comercio, which he did using a neo-classical style chosen to reflect that of the nearby Prado Museum. Repullés modeled the new building after the Vienna Stock Exchange, and the project, including the design and construction phase, spanned nearly 8 years. On May 7, 1893, the Madrid Stock Exchange opened its doors.
The Bolsa de Comerico has an irregular shaped floor plan as compared to other construction of the time, with a striking portico along the front supported by six fluted columns of the Corinthian order. Its façade is approximately 66 meters long and is adorned with a clock mechanism imported from Strasbourg in France. It also has two lateral pavilions and a grand staircase. Tourists entering the building will notice four reliefs, respectively representing the fields of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Navigation.
The interior of the building has two distinct areas. One is the trading area or trading floor. This is the most notable room of the structure, featuring a semi-circular dome and iron and glass roof. The other area, which is open to the public, is much smaller and houses an exhibition on the market’s history. Visitors to the Bolsa de Comerico are admitted everyday from 10:00 AM until approximately 2:00 PM, although spots are limited and prior arrangements are necessary.