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Funchal, Madeira

Funchal Cathedral

  • Coordenadas: 32.64819, -16.908251

150 meters from the statue lies the Funchal Cathedral (Aljube street), built between 1485 and 1518 by King Manuel I.

The back of the Cathedral features a spiral tower, a testament to the Portuguese empire that stretched to the four corners of the world.

In 1533, for 20 years, Funchal had the largest diocese in the world.
The most striking feature inside is the extraordinary geometric wooden ceiling, with a Moorish influence, amidst the Baroque decoration.

Tecto da Sé do Funchal


Município Square

  • Coordenadas: 32.649465, -16.908722

The Municipal Square is one of the most beautiful. The Municipal Chamber (1758) dominates the east side. Built by the Count of Carvalhal.

  • Coordenadas: 32.649715, -16.908997

In the square, we see the Church of the Jesuit College (17th century) with a beautiful golden carving altar and 17th and 18th century tiles.


Museum of Sacred Art

  • Coordenadas: 32.649465; -16.908722

It is one of the best galleries in Portugal for its Renaissance collection of Flemish paintings.

One of the most fascinating paintings is the “Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate”. It depicts Henrique Alemão (Henry the German) and his wife.

Encontro de S. Joaquim e Santa Ana junto da Porta Dourada
Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate from Mestre da Adoração de Machico

Henrique Alemão receives land in Madeira. The Portuguese king (Afonso V) is the godfather of his marriage. This is not your usual common man.

Some believe it to be King Władysław III of Poland. He disappeared in a battle against the Ottomans.

According to an ancient tradition, he left for the Holy Land and became a Knight of Catherine with Mount Sinai.

In the archives of the Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary of Jerusalem, a written passage (1472) states that Władysław III lives on the “islands of Portugal.”


Fábrica de Santo António

  • Coordenadas: 32.649601, -16.907475

The Fábrica de Santo Antonio is located 100 meters away, and here we buy the traditional honey cake.

200 meters from the Museum of Sacred Art is the Londres Restaurant (Carreira street) – a classic in the city.

  • Coordenadas: 32.648992, -16.910827

The decor may not be the most inspiring, but they have a great menu and serve generous portions. Try the traditional swordfish with bananas.


São Pedro Church

  • Coordenadas: 32.649814; -16.911833

On São Pedro street, 350 meters from the Município square, stands the beautiful Church of São Pedro (16th century). A baroque altar and beautiful 17th century tiles on the walls.

Santa Clara Convent

  • Coordenadas: 32.65085; -16.913332

In the north, we find Santa Clara Convent (1496), founded by Zarco’s grandson, João Gonçalves da Câmara.

Partially destroyed in an attack by French pirates (1566). Rebuilt in the 17th century.

The nuns had no contact with the outside world until the 19th century. Next to it is the church that contains the tombs of Zarco’s descendants.

Universe of Memories Museum

  • Coordenadas: 32.6509464; -16.913321

Right next to the convent, you can see a magnificent 19th-century house, now the Universo das Memórias Museum, which houses the collection of João Carlos Abreu, a former minister of Madeira.

His extensive travels are evident, with various pieces from the Middle East. His collection of Victorian horses, like those found in amusement parks, is on the top floor.

There is also, in the back, a tearoom in the small gardens.

Quinta das Cruzes

  • Coordenadas: 32.6507026; -16.912987

Close by is the Quinta das Cruzes (17th century) a family home of the Lomelinos (traded Genoese wines).

Today, it is a museum. They filled the house with art, Indian and Chinese silks, Flemish paintings, French tapestry, English furniture and 19th century jewels.

São João Baptista do Pico Fortress

  • Coordenadas: 32.651363; -16.91644

If you have extra time, it’s worth climbing up the hill to the São João Baptista do Pico Fortress, located 400 meters from the Quinta das Cruzes.
Built-in 1611 when Portugal was under Spanish rule- We can walk along the walls and enjoy the views.

Avenida do Mar

A half-hour walk to the coast reaches the primary avenue (Avenida do Mar) lined with cafes.

  • Coordenadas: 32.645949; -16.909931

On the other side of the avenue is the Funchal Marina, restaurants with views of the elegant yachts – one of the most lively spots in the city after dinner.

New Year’s Eve is a huge celebration, particularly the fireworks show, which lasts 8 minutes with a 25-second finale, that occurs in the natural amphitheatre of the bay.

The docked ships participate in the party with a concert of whistles.

Reveillon na Madeira
Reveillon na Madeira

It’s a memorable moment. By this time, Funchal is the most expensive city in the country – in terms of tourist accommodation.

Replica of the ship Santa Maria

Close to the marina, we see the “replica” of the ship Santa Maria from the expedition of Christopher Columbus.
Before embarking on his adventure, Columbus lived on the archipelago. He married the daughter of the Porto Santo island captain.

  • Coordenadas: 32.645924, -16.911131

The “replica” was built in Câmara de Lobos by Robert Wijntje with seven local artisans. For less than €40, we take a 3-hour trip, with a stop near Cabo Girão skywalk for swimming.

The replica sails display the cross of the Portuguese maritime elite, the Order of Christ. The original ship showed a green cross, with an F and Y (symbols of Castile).