The true spirit of Foz
The name of this street originates from an old hermitage, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of Light). It is one of the most traditional streets of Foz, with shops that have existed for decades and that have passed between generations of the same family.
The area of Foz had been isolated from the urban centre of the city for many centuries. It started out as a fishing zone and at the beginning of the 19th century it only had about 3000 inhabitants. In 1834 it even became an independent county, a situation that lasted little more than a year. In fact, until the appearance of the horse drawn trams, the route between Porto and Foz was made on foot or in a cart drawn by oxen that could last for about eight hours.
The change of habits and the fashion of sea bathing as a leisure activity, beneficial to health, caused this area of the city to develop, gaining new access and receiving more and more visitors. In 1866, the area of Foz began in Sobreiras and ended exactly on Rua da Senhora da Luz. It was then that the construction of a road by the sea began, which made the connection to Matosinhos.
New avenues were slowly but surely built in Foz, but this street has always maintained its more traditional character, bringing together, in a few hundred meters, a great variety of commercial establishments and maintaining a neighbourly spirit.
It was built by order of the Marquis of Pombal in 1758, in an elevated place, next to the Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Luz. The location was chosen so that the lighthouse could be easily seen from the sea. It was modernized at the beginning of the 20th century (1913), but with the construction of the jetty of Felgueira in 1945, it lost its utility. It was the only construction in that place, for a long time, since the dwellings only appeared much later.
The primitive hermitage no longer exists, but the image of Nossa Senhora da Luz was transferred to the parish church of Foz do Douro, where it is still venerated today.
The current chapel of Our Lady of Light of Gondarém was until the mid-twentieth century, the starting point of a very important procession.