Already from the 16th century until today, this area has been the centre of the small businesses. The Rua da Alfândega was first the ‘home’ of the public slaughterhouse and the fish market that ended being demolished around 1940. On its place the new Funchal customhouse (‘Alfândega’ in Portuguese) was built.
The Rua dos Tanoeiros got its name around the 17th century because of the importance given to the coopers (port. ‘tanoeiros’). This importance was directly linked to the continuous growth of the Madeira wine export between the 18th and 19th centuries. Today the Rua dos Tanoeiros starts with a ramp, where you will find an old fountain that in former times was used for giving water to animals from the municipal markets.