Street names and their historical origin

vickylass By vickylass, 20th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

Ever been curious in knowing the origin of some street names? Here are a few of the old area of Madrid.

Street names and their historical origin

Haven't you ever been curious to know the reason why some streets were called with such names? Even if a street has nouns such as “Carnation”, “Fish” , “Penny” or any other, chances are that people put such a name on them for a reason.
In some countries, if not all of them, many streets in their old areas are streets that have names of trades, because in the old times, it was in these streets that those people that worked in such trades had their workshops.
In the old area of Madrid, there are some of them worth mentioning and, perhaps, having a laugh.
“Calle de la Lechuga” (Lettuce Street) was called like this, because it was here where people had their stalls, selling lettuces. It was a rural street when Madrid was not yet the capital as it is today with no name, but known as the street where one could buy lettuces. It was sensible then that it had to be Lettuce Street when the Council decided to give it a name.
One will know in which street one is when strolling in the old area, because one will see a restaurant called “El Cogollo”, meaning the core of a lettuce and another that serves a variety of salads.
Quite a healthy and nutritious street, I'd say!
In the “Calle del Panecillo” (Bread Roll Street) there is the Madrid's Headquarters of Madrid's Archbishop as well as the Basilica Pontifical Church of San Miguel. It isn't really a street, but an ally. The Archbishop had a custom to give a bread roll to all the beggars and all of them started to queue at the palace to get a bread roll. Then, they stopped doing this, because they thought it was scandalous and installed gates on both ends of the ally.
It's difficult to tell in another language why “Calle de la Pasa” is called like this, because this “Pasa” stands for Walk and the saying that in Spanish rhymes was that those who didn't walk to this street wouldn't get married. It was because in this street, there is the ecclesiastic offices where people had to go to get a permit to marry, because at that time, they could only get married in the church.
Others are historical or are called after outstanding people, but whatever their names it's always interesting to know why such or such a street was called that name.

© Copyright. Vicky Pino. November 20th 2015.


Archbishop, Beggars, Bread Roll, Lettuce

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Feature article writer whose motto is that inspiration does exist, but it has to meet us at work.

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author avatar Retired
21st Nov 2015 (#)

I used to live in a road that had a truly unique name - at least, Google Maps cannot find another anywhere in the world. This was Tatnam Road in Poole, Dorset. I have no idea where the name comes comes from.

I always get a sense of pride when crossing Welford Road in Leicester - which I do quite often - but my ultimate aim must be to visit John Welford Road which is in the wilds of Alabama!

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author avatar vickylass
21st Nov 2015 (#)

In England and especially in London, there are some interesting street names. I recall Shoe Lane and Fish Street exists too.

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author avatar Bridget O Sullivan
21st Nov 2015 (#)

Very interesting . would have liked to hear about more ! I In In Ireland many of our streets are called after the great freedom fighters. JSraid = street ./ e.g. Sraid an Phiarsaigh; Called after Patrick Pearse who was executed in 1916 by the British along with many others .

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