The city hall in Porto sits at the head of a wide space, Liberty Square. When it was created the merchants and commercial class wanted to extend the street and square even further. Standing in the way of that was a large Catholic church. The Bishop was asked if the church could be removed and the answer was no. The City hall was placed directly in front of the church just twenty feet between the two buildings and when looking up the long avenue and square the church is not seen, blocked by the impressive city hall. The building and square, the symbol of the merchant class, are hard scaped to display their power.
The Stock Exchange building is a magnificent monument to the merchant class, built where there was once a monastery.
Below is a link to a Slideshow for Porto.