Situated between the Santo Ildefonso church and Sao Bento train station in downtown Porto is Rua de 31 de Janeiro. Once one of Porto's most popular shopping streets this steep cobbled road seems to have been somewhat relegated to the past. For me this is great, the quirky old shops selling things I don't know who would want to buy is part of what I love about Porto. On the flipside the street seems to be in a gradual state of decline as shops close down one by one. I'm sure they will be replaced, but it will be by something hip and touristy and the character will be lost.
The name of the street comes from the uprising of January 31, 1891, which was the first step towards Portugal becoming a republic. The uprising of soldiers in Porot ended up with a shootout on the steps of Santo Ildefonso in which it was quickly put down. Many of the supporters were transported to the Colonies in Africa. However, after a republic was finally established in 1910 Rua de Santo António was renamed Rua de 31 de Janeiro in tribute to the early "martyrs".