Street of Sighs or Calle de los Suspiros – Colonia del Sacramento.
When I saw the name on my tourist map, “Calle de los Suspiros ” or “Street of Sighs” I was immediately curious. The name spelled mystery and intrigue. Where did the name come from? What was I going to find?
I followed the map which took me into the old city. It is such a beautiful town. Cobbled streets and houses built in a colonial style, painted in different colours. I was immediately transformed into a different era. The one where horses pulled carriages, where sword fights took place at midnight and lovers secretly met in dark corners.
A narrow pedestrian way.
When I came around the corner I saw it! A small street that is no more than a narrow pedestrian way. It doesn’t have any side walks and it is paved with wedge stones. It still has the original drain running by the middle of it. The street has houses on both sides dating back to the first colonial years.
I was not the only one that was curious. Other people were also hanging around taking photographs. I still did not know where the name came from and I set off to go and find out.
© Photographer: Nelieta Mishchenko | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Why is it called the “Street of Sighs”?
Several legends have been woven around its name. Don’t you just love legends? Each year somebody adds something new. It was exactly the same with my mystery street. Here are the theories and I will let you be the judge on this one!
- The first one claims that criminals, who were condemned to death, were led along the street of “sighs” and drowned in the river when the tide rose.
- The second story suggests that this street used to have many brothels that sailors visited after a long sea journey. I will not go into more details but I am sure you will be able to make the connection.
- The 3rd story is very romantic. It claims that a young woman was waiting for her love, when a masked man appeared and stabbed her in the chest with a dagger. All that was heard was a sigh…
I am sure new stories will arise which will add magic and intrigue. For now I will stick to the above theories which for a moment transformed me back into a journey of time.
Where to find The Street of Sighs?
If you walk from the ferry, you will come into the old part of the city through the main entrance via the drawbridge gate. The Street of Sighs is on your left when you come through the gate. From Plaza Mayor it is the first street on the left.
Don’t miss the table linen shop around the corner. They sell exquisite items. Many people come here to browse for table linens and what a variety don’t they have! They sell anything from table runners to fitted table cloths. I spend quite a while browsing this little shop.