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Funchal Cathedral

The primary religious site in Funchal, Madeira Island, is the Funchal Cathedral, a National Monument since 1910.

To know the island’s capital, visit the “Things To Do In Funchal” page. To discover what to do on Madeira, refer to the “Things To Do In Madeira Funchal“.

  • Coordinates: 32.64819, -16.908251

Dom Manuel commissioned the architect Gil Eanes to design this temple in Funchal in the 15th century.

Funchal Cathedral Address:

Rua do Aljube, 9000-067 Funchal

Phone: (+351) 291 228 155


Before becoming king, Dom Manuel I was the Madeira Lord and Christ Order Master.

Throughout his reign, he demonstrated a particular interest in the church expansion, particularly the main chapel.

The main entrance displays Gothic lines, and inside we discover one of the most beautiful ceilings in Portugal, made of wood from the island.

The Madeira Island had seen nothing of these dimensions and became a living witness of the Portuguese Empire Era, spreading throughout the globe.

It was the largest diocese in the world for 22 years, encompassing all the lands discovered by the Portuguese, from Brazil to Japan.

Kings, princes, devotees, missionaries, pirates, knights and unscrupulous mercenaries passed through here…

In 1566, French corsairs raided Madeira island, targeting the silver and gold pieces in convents and churches.

The sacristan hid the most valuable pieces in a tomb. When they arrived, there was no silver or gold… Furiously began to open coffins.

The smell that emerged was terrible…

In an instant, they closed it and convinced themselves: surely no value would come from those tombs.

Still, they destroyed church statues and took some paintings.

Many church pieces we see today are silent witnesses of this episode.

The gilded carved pieces show characteristics of the Manueline period but are already from the 17th century.

In the altarpiece behind the altar, we see magnificent paintings that aim to inspire the priest.

In the 15th century, the mass was celebrated (in Latin) with the priests back to the assembly, facing the altar.

Most of the paintings came from Lisbon, during the reign of Manuel I, by names such as Francisco Henriques, who unfortunately died of the plague, his brother-in-law Jorge Afonso and Lourinhã Master.

These were undoubtedly the best Portuguese painters of that time.

The church still has an exceptional silver processional cross, offered by Manuel I: a Manueline goldsmithing masterpiece.

Things to do near Funchal Cathedral

Some tourist attractions near the Cathedral include the Farmer’s Market (Mercado dos Lavradores), the Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Santa Catarina Park, the Madeira Botanical Garden, and the Monte Palace Madeira.

What to do near the Cathedral of Funchal

Some tourist attractions near the Cathedral include Mercado dos Lavradores, Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Parque de Santa Catarina, Jardim Botânico da Madeira and Monte Palace Madeira.

Mercado dos Lavradores

The Mercado dos Lavradores is a farmer’s market in the Funchal centre, close to Zona Velha do Funchal (Old Town).

The market sells exotic fruits, fresh vegetables, and local products such as hats, honey and wine.

Blandy’s Wine Lodge

Blandy’s Wine Lodge is a cellar where more than 600 barrels are stored, where the famous Madeira Wine ages.

It is located on Avenida Arriaga, right in the Funchal centre. We learn 200 years of Madeira wine history.

Santa Catarina Park

Parque de Santa Catarina is a public (free) park in Funchal, with an area of 36,000 m². It offers beautiful views over the bay of the capital and is one of the most pleasant places in the city.

It has a large lawn where visitors relax and enjoy the landscape.

Madeira Botanical Garden

Madeira Botanical Garden is located on land that dominates the João Gomes river valley. With about 35,000 m², it has more than 2,000 exotic plants.

It is one of the main tourist attractions in Funchal and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

Monte Palace Madeira

Monte Palace Madeira garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, with an area of seventy thousand square meters. It houses exotic plants from all continents. The garden also has a museum.