Streets with History: Professions in Lisbon

Wed, 27.03.2019

Ancient professions in Baixa

On the 27th of March, our Portuguese language school organized a walking tour about the ancient professions in Baixa.

Indira Leão, our history teacher, guided us during this interesting afternoon. We learned that after the Great Earthquake of 1755, Baixa was the most affected part of Lisbon. Carlos Mardel and Eugénio dos Santos were responsible for doing an urban construction project of the city. On the 5th of November 1760 was issued a document that gave names of professions in the streets of Baixa. Those professions existed since the medieval times in Baixa.

We started at Rua dos Fanqueiros. Fanqueiros were traders of fabrics. The original name of the street is Rua Nova da Princeza. However, with the implementation of the Republic in 1910, many names of streets and places in Lisbon changed.

The Douradores refers to the men that put golden leafs in books, statues, decorations… In 1551, there were 39 shops of douradores in Rua dos Douradores. Antero de Quental, a Portuguese writer lived in the fourth floor of the number 135 of this street. Fernando Pessoa also was a costumer of a restaurant Antiga Casa Pessoa.

The original name of Rua da Prata is Rua Bella da Rainha. In 1910, the Republicans changed the name. This street were to the businesses related to silver.

In the Rua dos Correeiros were established the men that worked with leader or sold it.

Rua dos Sapateiros means the street of the shoemakers. On the 8th of December 1907 there was inaugurated in this street, the first Art Noveau cinema in Lisbon. Nowadays, it is a sex-shop.

Finally, the Rua Áurea is also known by Rua do Ouro, street of gold.

After the interesting tour, we went to an esplanade in Praça Martim Moniz!

Check out our photos:


Exploring the streets with names of professions in Baixa Pombalina

Those who know the Baixa Pombalina have already noticed the curious names of some streets. We have Rua dos Douradores, Rua dos Sapateiros or Rua da Prata. Have you already wonder about the origin of these names? What do they mean? You’ll find it out on our walking tour on the 27th of March.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will help us to understand more about this topic. Since the Medieval Times, the main professions were located in Baixa. This was an important commercial centre in the city. With the Great Earthquake of 1755 most part of Lisbon was destroyed. With the project of reconstruction of Lisbon, the Marquis of Pombal decided to maintain Baixa with its stores. He also decided that each street should have the name of the main profession that was established there.

On 5th November of 1760, the first diploma dealing exclusively with the names of the streets in Lisbon was issued. This diploma assigned profession’s names in Baixa.

The Rua dos Correeiros refers to the men that make or sells leather goods.

The Rua dos Sapateiros was only dedicated to the shoemakers.

In the Rua dos Douradores there were people skilled in the application processes of layer, sheet or gold wire in an object. Already in 1551, Cristóvão Rodrigues de Oliveira registered the existence of 39 douradores in the Rua Nova dos Douradores.

The Rua da Prata was created with the name Rua Bella da Rainha. The name changed after the Republican Revolution of 1910.

You’ll learn more about the streets of Baixa during our walking tour! After, we’ll go to a nice esplanade and have a drink!

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