A mark of nineteenth century modernity
It connects Ribeira and Baixa (Downtown) of Porto. It was built in the 19th century, covering a river that divided the city and today is a point of passage for thousands of tourists.
The construction of this street, which honors the liberal politician Mouzinho da Silveira (1780-1849), resulted from the need to connect the area of Ribeira, which until then was the commercial hub of Oporto to the center of the city. The works were financed by the taxes of Wine, levied on the basis of the wine barrels that were unloaded on the Douro River dock.
In contrast to the narrow streets of Ribeira, this new street was already a sign of modernity at a time when Oporto, boosted by burgeoning commerce, grew and gained economic power. The street was built over the Rio da Vila that divided the city; thus obliging the expropriation and demolition of buildings such as the St. Crispim Chapel, St. Roque Chapel and vestiges of the old medieval wall.
The street is 19 meters wide, was opened in 1875. With the construction of São Bento Station (which would be completed in 1916), this road would gain even more importance. The closeness to the station several shops emerged and besides the local consumers they had as clients the residents of Douro and Minho villages that came to the city. In addition to seeds and agricultural implements, these establishments sold products such as corks, scales, or religious items. Some of these stores still exist today and deserve a closer look, since they are a valuable example of the traditional trade of Oporto.
In addition to restaurants, handicraft shops and other places to shop or enjoy a meal, this street has other attractions that are worth seeing. One is a granite fountain that has a curious story: it is a replica of the fountain that existed when the street was built and was demolished to give way to two stores that disappeared overtime and a fountain formed by two spouts and a shell in the center was built according to the original design.