It was torn by the Dominican friars and began to appear with its current name in the 16th century. It was a cross that existed shortly before reaching the Largo de São João Novo, the Belmonte Monument, that gave it the name that has curiously been preserved until today.
Although it is not very long, the street that goes up and then down, holds in itself some treasures such as the Escovaria de Belomonteone of the oldest businesses in the city, and probably unique in the Iberian Peninsula. We can also see several houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, being the Pacheco Pereira's the most famous, as it represents one of the best examples of Porto's civil architecture from the 18th century. The building once hosted one of the centers of the Artistic School of the Porto, right next to the B28 Apartments.
Behind the Rua de Belomonte
At the beginning of Rua de Belomonte, still near Largo de S. Domingos, the extensive staircase of Victoria rises. The difficult climb is, however, one of the fastest and most direct connections between the lower and upper parts of the hill. It is also from these stairs that one can see one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the medieval Porto . But this is also one of the places where the Jewish presence in the city has lasted until our days. In fact, the toponymy safeguards this historical memory and the ethnic heritage of people, regions and cultures that the city is also made of. And Porto was also made, for centuries, of an extreme and important Jewish community that, since the 14th century, was forbidden to live on Sé Hill and, for this reason, was transferred to Olival Hill.
Thus was born the Jewish quarter of Porto, on top of which the new synagogue was erected. At the end of the 15th century, the Jews were definitively expelled from the city and the country. But, symptomatically, the stairs leading down from the Jewish quarter to the synagogue, the renamed Escadas da Vitória (Victory Stairs), are also known today as the Escadas da "Esnoga" (Steps to the Synagogue).