Funchal is the capital and main city of the autonomous region of Madeira, on the island of Madeira. The city has a vibrant history as it was the shopping centre during the 15th to the 17th century, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. The picturesque city boasts a backdrop of a protective ring of green mountains, vineyards, farmlands, panoramic views of the blue Atlantic, an old historic centre, festivals, quaint and narrow winding streets, shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, cathedrals, theatres and some of the most spectacular beaches and cliffs.
One of the best ways to get the true essence of this ‘God's Floating Garden’ is to indulge in some of the best things to do in Funchal, which include sightseeing opportunities like Jardins Do Palheiro, Madeira Botanical Gardens, Santa Clara Convent, São Lourenço Palace, Sé Cathedral and Colegio Church. The city has many opportunities for outdoor activities and adventure sports like paragliding from the Madeira Mountains, sidecar and cable car tours, golf courses and birdwatching. Funchal there is a wide variety of shops selling everyday goods, as well as many souvenirs along with special items including Madeira folk art, such as embroidery, tapestry and wickerwork which are sold at some of the liveliest markets in the city, including the famous market, Mercado dos Lavradores.
The city of Funchal has been the capital of Madeira for the past 500 years, and with verdant mountains, colourful subtropical vegetation, a historic port and a vibrant culture are the things that keep the city alive, thriving and listed as one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world
Can't wait to discover Funchal by yourself? Create a Funchal itinerary today!
#1 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2697 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Botanical Garden, Family And Kids
Centre of Funchal City, Funchal,Portugal
09:30 am - 06:00 pm
Surround your senses in a riot of colours. Feel the warmth of the tropics, smell the sweet fragrance of unusual flowers in full bloom, feast your eyes on alluring birds, and touch the soft grass and the earthy trees.Everywhere you look around the Botanical Garden in Madeira you feel ecstatic. Flowers dance and sway upon branches in clusters of colours. The energetic parakeets and parrots with their intricate plumage and plump chest, chirp brightly, all fitting beautifully into a mosaic pattern.
The climatic conditions at the Botanical Garden in Madeira favours the exuberant vegetation it supports. There are more than 2000 species of flowers and a collection of 300 birds including Dwarf Parrots, and Macaws. This is an antique property which belonged to the Reid’s family and has been a tourist attraction since 1960.
The garden is divided into 5 sections:
Indigenous and endemic: On display here are the exclusive plants typical to Madeira and the other islands in the Atlantic. These trees are found in the natural forest in Madeira called the Laurissilva Forest.
Tree Garden: This houses trees from the other side of the globe such as the Himalaya and the Tropics.
Succulents: A variety of cacti are grown here which come from South America and the capacity to store water is what differentiates these plants from the rest.
Tropical/Cultivated/Aromatic/Medicinal: As the name suggests, there is a variety of medicinal plants as well as coffee trees and sugarcane plants.
Loiro Park: The Australian parakeets and Dwarf parrots have found their home in this part of the garden.
This is a centre for conservation of species of plants which are already extinct in their original countries.
The garden covers an area of 80,000 square metres which houses a Natural History Museum, and Cable Car ride connecting to Monte and other destinations.
There is an amphitheatre which has diverse trees and ornamental shrubs and a collection of orchids.
#2 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2487 times in trip plans
Geological Formation, View Point, Family And Kids, Nature
10:00 am - 07:00 pm
Rags of cloud and mist clung to the cliff and as the sun erupted on the giant palisade, it shone with its sheer curtains of solid rock in which tiny bits of quartz winked like tiny gems in the sunlight. Stand on the skywalk and watch the mystery of the ocean unfold below. The waves of the turquoise ocean softly crashing against the mighty cliff, like fingers brushing each stone with a gentle caress and the wind ushering them back into the deep. This is Cabo Girao, The skywalk on Europe’s Highest Cliff in Madeira Islands.
There are terraced fields below the sheer cliff which can be reached by cable cars.Cabo Girao is one of the most popular tourist attractions. After redeveloping wider roads more shops have opened up and plenty of parking. The skywalk in glass is exhilarating. It leaves the guests enchanted with the views.
The Chapel of Nossa Senhora Da Fatima is located here.
Stand at the iron railings of the view point and feel the rush of adrenaline.
The glass skywalk is 580 metres above sea level.
Local craft souvenirs are on sale on makeshift market stall.
Take a car ride to Cabo Girao and witness the little windy roads passing through banana plantations and other exotic fruits that are grown in this part of the island.
Cabo Girao is a popular starting point for trekking. Trek all over Cabo Girao and experience the beauty of the vineyards with a sea view.
At the cliff’s foot there is a small area of cultivated land called Fajas do Cabo Girao which were accessed by farmers in their boats.
Base-jumping, para gliding, are allowed at this point and it’s paradise for adrenaline addicts.Paragliders soar over the blue Atlantic Ocean alongside buzzards and sea birds.
Get a mystifying view of the sunset from the skywalk.
All along the base of the cliff you can enjoy sunbathing and swimming.
#3 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2470 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Sport, Park, Entertainment, Play, Tourist Center, Family And Kids
Avenida Do Infante, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Sit under a tree or on the green verdant grass and look up at the swollen clouds lazily drifting across a perfect forget-me-not sky. Feel the sun shine while it pours over the exposed lake painting magnificent shimmery reflections of the trees on the water. Listen to melodious chorus of birds chirping, seemingly never repeating notes. Just relax and enjoy yourself in the Santa Catarina Park.
With a total area of 36,000square metres, this park offers an enchanting view of Funchal and its marina and the wide surrounding hills. There are huge lawns surrounded by flower beds and lined by numerous trees and shrubs and plants from all over the world. Salvias and Birds of Paradise, an unusual flower thrives at the park.
The paved pathways provide benches to sit and look at the lake with its fountain or gaze in the distance and watch the boats go in and out of the harbour. In that lake there is a small island where birds nest and swans thrive. The pathways have rock lizards fleeting across, perfectly camouflaged by the rocky background. The only way to notice them is when they drink from the flower heads. There are ornamental birds in aviaries which is an added attraction.
A playground providing all sorts of activities for children is available along with a snack bar. You can even hike along the many trails paved out in the park. Nearby you will find objects of historical value, such as a steamroller used for the roads and a machine used to squash grapes in days gone by.
Another feature of the parks is that it has sculptures dedicated to several historical characters such as Prince Henry, Christopher Columbus, Gago Coutinho and Sacadura.
The garden hosts free jazz concerts at a particular time of the year. These concerts are very well organised and a charming attraction.
#4 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2396 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Family And Kids, Architecture , Cathedral
Rua do Aljube 13, 9000-067 Funchal, Portugal
In 1490s, Manuel I sent his architect to work on the design of the cathedral of Funchal.The church was built in Gothic style to appeal to the most powerful emotion whether springing from faith or from civic duty. This architecture created light, and air and became an awe-inspiring place of piety and worship. Lofty towers scaled new heights, allowing the worshippers to feel as if they had reached up to heaven. In 1508 Funchal was given the status of a city and in it was the Cathedral Se, a spiritual place for quiet reflection and contemplative prayer.
From outside the cathedral looks rustic and is made up of a patchwork of red/brown blocks quarried locally and walls washed in brilliant white. The interior is exquisite. You climb down some steps and go through the main entrance guarded by two sets of sturdy Gothic wooden doors. Agrand archwhich gives the impression of height and magnificence leads to the chancel. Works of art here features the manueline period. This is a Portuguese style of ornamentation architecture which incorporates maritime elements and representations of the discoveries brought from the voyages of Vasco Da Gama. The manueline architecture was financed by the proceeds of the lucrative spice trade with Africa and India. Seashells, flowers, animals, knitted ropes, are examples of manueline architecture.
Now relax, let your mind reach out to the splendour of the vaulted Gothic ceiling, with its sense of elegance and grandeur. The ceiling is lined in native cedar wood, inlaid with ivory and gold, decorated in Mujedar style, which is a combination of architecture resulting from Muslim and Christian cultures living side by side. Rows of tables and chairs are decorated with images of apostles and prophets, even the arms of the chairs are crafted with the smallest details. There are several saintly carved wooden icons and paintings around the alter.
This holy place is commonly visited by the elderly locals come in to pray on their way from picking up groceries. The time spent here invigorates them simply by touching the foot of a statue, praying and moving on.
#5 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2775 times in trip plans
View Point, Tourist Center, Family And Kids, Adventure, Cable Car
East of Funchal, Portugal
09:00 am - 06:00 pm
Fly over winding streets and mazes of houses which look like tiny models on a living map. A gentle, silent ride exposing expanses of green, neat parks, ponds and lakes shimmering like mirrors are what you experience during a ride on the Monte cable Car ride. The view of wide green belt, tiny toy cars, spires of churches, will take your breath away. Patchwork of red, blue and green will amaze you of what lies hidden below. This cable car ride shows the mystery that spreads over the city without doing damage to the environment.
Monte is served by inclined cable car to Funchal and the Botanical Gardens. The exhilarating views of exotic and rare flowers are all well maintained and a delight for nature lovers.
The cable cars are known as gondolas and are very modern and very clean.
The entire project follows the quality and safety guidelines with European and International rules.
The panoramic view spreads over the delightful city of Funchal where the green landscape melts into the ocean blue.
The ride highlights the mystery of the island with all its hidden beauty.
Initially a steam train used to bring tourists to the Monte hills now 100 years later, the modern cable car has taken over this mission.
On the ride up to Monte, enjoy the fascinating view of Funchal Bay and the surrounding landscape.
When you exit the station at Monte, a souvenir photo will be available to you.
Taxi Cabs and Buses are available in Livremento.
There are large wicker baskets which will take you down at fairly high speeds on the cobbled path, by driven by two carreiros, men wearing the traditional white uniform with straw boaters.
You can shoot some brilliant photographs, from the car and various places once you ascend or descend.
The cable car rides are smooth and tranquil.
At the end of the journey the staff take a photo of you but this is purely optional.
At the station there is a snack bar and handicraft shop.
#6 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2440 times in trip plans
Garden, Palace, Tourist Center, Family And Kids, Nature
Caminho do Monte, 174, 9050-288 Funchal
09:30 am - 03:30 pm
Immerse yourself in the wonder of Nature in the green kingdom of plants and shrubs knitted tightly like a strand in a massive web of life. The scent of Azaleas and Orchids drift through the air, stirring your senses. Ponds with stepping stones and bridges lie like a blue plate, pulsating with koi and carp. Every trail takes you down Mother Nature’s store of fascinating flowers and stunning scenery with majestic peacocks lining the pathway. This is the Monte Palace Tropical Garden in Funchal.
White sheets of water cascade down into pools surrounded by pruned shrubbery, conical ferns, and Oriental sculptures at the Monte Palace Garden. This piece of paradise was the vision of the 18th century English Consul called Charles Murray, who bought property up the hill in Funchal. In 1987 Joe Berardo, a millionaire turned this place into a magical dream garden. He aimed at showcasing plants from all over the world and had a 1000year old olive tree relocated in the garden.
Joe Berardo was enchanted by the history and culture of China and Japan and this influenced him to create two oriental gardens in Monte Palace Garden.
These gardens represent Buddhism, and its respect for nature and its highly symbolic elements.
There are moveable balls in the half open mouths of marble FO dogs, mythical animals which act as guards. Give it one complete turn and according to Chinese belief, good luck shall befall on the person.
Sit on the stone seats, surrounded by stone lanterns and marvel at the marble Dragon surrounded by children in stone to represent fertility.
Two bamboo ornaments shaped like pipes has water discharging through them into the lakes, representing the passing of time.
The Berardo Collection of Zimbabwe stone sculpture is found in the museum along with 700 mineral specimens, from South America, North America and parts of Africa.
A large collection of tile panels have been placed along the walkways and amongst the vegetation. This collection is one of the most important collection after that of the National Tile Museum in Portugal.
The tiles represent different eras in time and depicts social, cultural, and religious events.
The tallest vase is on display here.
There is a small cafe which sells basic snacks and drinks.
#7 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2567 times in trip plans
Outdoors, View Point, Family And Kids, Nature
Eastern Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
Look down into the depth of the dark ocean from a hostile yet amazing landscape and feel the air swirl and eddy like the waters below. Alongthe entire rocky terrain feel the contrast of the choppy sea of the north and the calm south sea. The curious rock formations is a result of the volcanic origin of the island. Take a moment to appreciate the struggle by plants and animals to evolve and survive under turmoil and be a part of this wonderful masterpiece of Mother Nature. This is Ponta De Sao Lourence.
The waves of the North Sea crash into boulders creating a lace of foam. Brave swimmers can pick their way down to the breaking waves in this tempestuous sea. This is in complete contrast to the South Sea which is calm and serene where swimmers can swim and sunbathe in tranquillity.
There was a lighthouse built in 1870 on top of small inactive volcanoes which is now a Viewpoint. A walk around the narrow peninsula leads you to a peak just before the lighthouse.
To begin the walk, start from the car park, go past the roundabout and take the track ahead. This track divides into two. On this right fork there are wooden steps to take you to the north. The road curves right and then a few more steps bring you back up. The goal of this hike is the sight of the rounded peak, the lighthouse, and an interesting arch carved out of the cliff by the waves.
The right hand path also leads down to a small cove secluded beach.
Walk down the left hand path and experience the marvellous view from a lookout point of the blue sea.
After the ridge, the path reaches to a park ranger station on a plateau, from where the paths are maintained and wildlife observed.
The final ascent gets a bit slippery since over the years, the volcanic soil has worn down and crumbled into dust.
When you reach the top, you will be exhilarated with the views of the colourful cliffs, the lonely lighthouse, the massive ocean, and the Madeiran cost line.
On the way back take the left path all the way to a small landing stage by the water, or back up a set of steps through a picnic area and join the outbound route.
The final stretch is going to the outbound route over the ridge top and past the lookout point and back to the car park.
The hiking time is between 2.5 to 3 hours for the 3km walk and there is a car park at the end of the road from start to finish.
There are some wonderful photo stops on the way, time to relax, shoot and give your feet some much deserved rest.
You can do this trek without a guide since all the paths are well marked and the trek can be done leisurely.
Down at the beach you can snorkel and spend time with the stunning creatures that rule the waters.
#8 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 400 times in trip plans
9030, Funchal, Portugal
Sunset at Pico do Arieiro, one of Madeira island’s third highest peak, is a gateway to heaven. Passion will drive you up the levada pathway. Gaze down at the clouds which is like a fluffy white blanket gathering around the mountain peaks. As the sun sinks, threads of light mingles with the rolling cloud, colouring the heavens first orange, then red, then dark blue, and finally a chalky mauve. The radiant sun dims and disappears below the horizon, leaving the ocean gleaming in her last rays.
The levada or mini canals are irrigation systems which were developed to distribute water from the wet North regions to the drier South. The network of levadas run around the entire mountain and even delivers water to the banana plantation, vine yards, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens as well as to the hydro-electric power stations all over the island.
This magnificent mountain walk begins from Pico do Arieiro, heading into the complex interior with its jagged pinnacles and immense towers of volcanic rock enriched with lava veins, and ends at Pico Ruivo.
This rugged mountain walk has precipitous steps which are safe and signs to guide the tourists and is accessible by car till the starting point. The easterly route by steps is tougher than the westerly one. There are several tunnels but none too long or dark.
Madeira is warm but there may be weather changes creating restricted visibility due to low clouds, and there are strong winds, and sudden temperature drops and occasional rain fall. If you are on this trek during summer, remember it gets darker earlier.
Start at the cafe at Pico do Arieiro, go across the plateau till you come to a view point showing a glorious view of Ruivo. From here the path divides into right and left. The left leads you over some precarious routes and vertiginous sections, and if you are not an experienced mountain trekker, you will feel desperate. Take the right and follow the easy section which is take you to the picnic spot. From here you see the summit of Pico Ruivo and visit the Pico Ruivo’s Hut. The return journey is the same route back to the main path below the hut.
For experienced travellers, an alternative way is to go through a tunnel, as you descend from the hut. This is a short but more dangerous route to Arieiro.
During winter, locals come here to witness stunning snowfalls. There is a freezing chill in the air, that brings crispness to the leaves but this will not deter them from coming here to the rugged winter wonderland.
#9 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2337 times in trip plans
Museum, Tourist Center, Family And Kids, Specialty Museum
Rua D Carlos 127-29 9060-051 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Try to see the artistic treasures of a city in a very short time, try absorbing the city through every pore and you will be left exhausted, physically and mentally drained. Instead step into the Madeira Story Centre. You will get transported to another reality. This spectacular modern museum will leave you engrossed, absorbed, almost in a trance.The wealth of information from the volcanic origins of this island to the era when Napoleon and Churchill ruled, is presented in a chronological sequence.
This interactive museum is built on historical precision, where multimedia technology is combined with the historical chain of events and well known faces tell our past. Inside the museum, all the exhibits depict a theme, an era, specific events, that will launch you into breathless rapture. This is the perfect place to start your journey into discovering the history of this stunning archipelago.
There are several levels:
Entrance Level deals with the volcanic birth 14 million years ago to the first hydroplane landing in Madeira.
Multifunctional Panoramic Terrace equipped with telescope allows you to view the Old Town. It has a theme cafe and a souvenir shop as well.
Main Exhibition floor houses the permanent exhibits where historical displays such as turmoil and trade and the age of sail to discovery of and exploration of Madeira is depicted in various stages.
There are smell boxes, sounds, interactive games and other challenges to keep you enthralled.
All contents of the Madeira Story Centre have been created by distinguished historians, with a keen attention to details. Several languages were used when presenting the information such as Portuguese, English, French and German.
Since this is situated in the heart of Funchal, the Cable Car is easily accessible and the Story Centre invites you to learn more about Madeira- the Pearl of the Atlantic.
The Story Centre invites local artisans and regional and international artists to display their work as well, which gives this centre an added attraction.
#10 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 11808 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Family And Kids, Cathedral
Monte, Funchal, Madeira 9050-208, Portugal
In 1565 the wealthy families in Funchal created the parish of Nossa Senhora do Monte. It was a summer refuge for the nuveau riche. They constructed cottages along the hills. The mild climate attracted more settlers and finally in 1741 the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte was build. Nearly 2 centuries later, this became the final resting place for Charles 1 of Austria, the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who died in exile in April 1922.
As you go up the steps leading to the church, you feel humbled. The serenity and simplicity is overwhelming. Imagine being exiled and far from the core of your ancestral Central European lands. But he, Charles 1, the last monarch of the House of Habsburg spent his last days in exile in Madeira, being accepted by the people which then surrounded him. Some years ago he was knighted as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, so pilgrimage is more frequent now. Now he lies in a great iron coffin inside the church.
Although this might look like just any other church, its unique artwork ranges from classical to modern. Blue art tiles which were hand cut had been used when constructing the chapel. Using brass and wooden tools, the artisans achieved a glaze finish which is lustrous and the refinement unsurpassed. Apart from the blue art tiles, Trompe l’oeil technique was also used. In this technique, the artist made use of realistic imagery to create an optical illusion, making the viewer think that an object depicted in the artwork is three dimensional.
Several huge and voluminous crystal chandeliers hang like glory cloud from the roof illuminating the church like a palace. The sculptures in the church were made by masters of the craft. The artwork that is painted on the rough roof planks is awe inspiring.
This lovely church which is over 500 years old, has a decorative entrance. The steps leading to the church are decorated with colourful ribbons of many colours, like Tibetan prayer flags. On occasions the church is decorated with agapanthus, which is a South African plant of the lily family, with blue or white flowers growing in rounded clusters, or in bananas leaves.
As you go climb to the bell towers of the church and reach the balcony, you discover the view of Funchal and the sea which is breathe taking.
#11 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 1970 times in trip plans
Outdoors, Entertainment, Flea Market, Market, Street Market, Shopping Center, Fa...
Largo dos Lavradores, Funchal, Madeira 9060 158, Portugal
07:00 am - 08:00 pm
The hustle and bustle of people hollering out their special deals, customers haggling over prices, people gossiping in huddles, cacophony of sounds, all mixed like a perfect blended cocktail for the senses. The smell of baked bread, meat roasting on skewers mingling with the scent of freshly powered spices fill the air and draw you in. This is a reflection of the local culture and economy, this is the farmers market called Mercado Dos Lavradores.
Approach to the market is a constant vision of colour and shape of the variety of products from flowers to fruits and vegetables, from eggs to fish, wines and embroidered table linen. The traditional bread called bolo do caco is circular in shape, resembling a cake, cooked on a Caco, a flat basalt stone slab, and is served with garlic butter and steak. These open markets are frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Women dressed in traditional Madeiran attire sell baskets of all sizes along with flowers which cuts through the soft scent of the morning air. Flowers such as strelitza, also known as birds of paradise, protea, orchids, montbretia, anthurium sit alongside a cluster of bananas, basket of plum, cherries, oranges, lemons, custard apples, chayote, which is a prickly green squash. The vendors encourage you to taste the fruits before buying them but you can always refuse and walk on.
Stalls also sell fragrant herbal tea ranging from Melissa, peppermint, fennel, mallow, pennyroyal, to a heady mix of balm of Gilead, lemon verbena, and lemon grass. These herbs provide cures for various ailments.There are several shops selling Madeira wine and one shop has a dramatic display of wine bottles across the ceiling.
The fish market is stunning. Fish of every size and kind, from tiny shiny golden fish, to dark creatures from the deep are displayed on marble slabs. Black scabbard fish, which they pull out of the bottom of the ocean with a very long fishing line is a local favourite. Huge slabs of tuna, oysters and other colourful fish are showcased as their morning catch. Men armed with huge knives slice and gut the fish with extreme ease and dexterity.
The Macaronesia Garden Terrace is a wonderful restaurant, nestled in green by plants and shrubs. Colourful umbrellas keep out the heat and you recline in pretty wicker furniture as attentive waiters take care of you.
#12 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2308 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Outdoors, Historical Site, Monastery
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
The monastery was built with a clear vision. A vision of the raw mixture of pain, sweat, prayer, learning, reflecting, editing and dreaming. The constant turmoil begins to subside as you start to meditate, seated in stillness, pray for blessing and empowerment and enlightenment. The monastery of Santa Clara is just not another building but is a sacred place, serving the purpose for which it was built 500 years ago, as a convent for Franciscan nuns.
The convent was founded at the end of the 16th century for Poor Clare nuns. These were women who came from a humble background, some from poverty to seek refuge in the monastery. It was subsequently used by Franciscan nuns. The French pirates attacked Funchal in 1566, causing the nuns to flee and take refuge in Curral das Freiras, an area known as the ‘coral or stable of the nuns.’ The convent was a safe house for the daughters of nobility. Nobles who went on long journeys kept their daughters here for safety. Widows felt safe here as well. They were looked after by the nuns who provided them with moral, religious and economic security.
The shadowed cloisters of the convent, and all the buildings are unique gems, because of the protection they provide for their historical and religious contents. Throughout history there was wear and tear to these buildings and when it was finally restored, the magnificent silver tabernacle with cabinet and urn was recovered. At the entrance there is a Gothic tomb on display. Even the tombs of Zarco and his daughters are displayed as well.
The church is adorned with dazzling azulejo tiles which are not only ornamental but also has the capacity to control the temperature inside the church. The wooden ceiling is embellished with decorative colours and patterns and the rooms and chapels display a wide range of paintings, gold trimmings, frames and decorations. An unusual painting depicting a black Madonna and Child is hanging in one of the chapels, and it dates back to the17th century. The nuns who led the order, enjoyed a secluded life and while you are taken on a tour, you get to see the church from behind the iron grills which separated the nuns from the public during that era.
The courtyard is flooded with sunlight and its warmth spreads over the stones as well. In order to help the local community, the nuns run a nursery and the creative work of the children is marvellous. There are some stunning views of Funchal and the sea from the balconies of the church.
#13 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2039 times in trip plans
Art Gallery, Exhibition , Specialty Museum
Museu de Arte Sacra do Funchal, Rua do Bispo 21, 9000-073 Funchal
10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Enter an era where artists portrayed robust, realistic and detailed perceptions of the world around him. Artistic vision either captured emotions from human subjects giving them perspective and proportions or everything painted had a spiritual presence. Paintings representing the ostentatious Baroque age, had classical deities, swirling from the air and bounding from the sea.The Sacred Art Museum in Madeira houses such art.
This era of art known for its vibrant materialism and unsurpassed technical skill is reflected in Flemish art, where one can find works having rippling silky surface and an animal vitality. The museum is dedicated in informing, educating, and inspiring the public through its stunning collection of paintings and arte facts. Immense fortunes were made from the sugar cane production and money was amassed through the sugar trade with Netherlands. Financial contribution received directly by the church helped in the restoration.
This museum is located in the former Bishops palace and was opened in 1955. The highlights are set into two groups: the Flemish Art with painting, sculpture, and jewellery and Portuguese Art, also with painting, sculpture and jewellery. There are historical objects of art as well as religious ones in the Flemish Art section and an exceptional silver tray, gilded and punctured from Antwerp in the16th century.
In the Portuguese section, collections on display are also of great historical and religious value. In the sculpture section, on display is the sculptural group of the dressing rooms in the Funchal Cathedral.The Portuguese collection of art works includes the valuable gold-plated silver processional cross donated by King Manuel I of Portugal.
The Museum has a collection of vestments of the mid-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, embroidered in gold and silver, with application of jewels.
#14 of 14 Things to do in Funchal | Added 2411 times in trip plans
Religious Site, Outdoors, Historical Site, Cathedral
Rua de Sao Pedro, 1, Funchal, Madeira 9000-098, Portugal
Get away from the hustle and bustle of busy life and step into a calm and serene church. Find solace from the beauty of the architecture. It is surrounded by an air of calm, very peaceful to sit and contemplate. Down the years this church, Ireja De Sao Pedro, suffered wear and tear but its exterior still proudly displays the facade and the original Romanesque apse. The apse or dome which is a semi-circular recess has undergone many renovations yet it still stands sober and simple.
The doorway which leads to the church bears witness to the first construction. The medieval walls and the architecture all dates back to the gothic era.
On the exterior the main facade has a portal of limestone set in a protruding body. A series of cantilevers with figures of animals supports the cornice at the top of the protruding body. Many of these figures have eroded but still shows the competence and dedication of the sculptor.This beautiful little church is filled with gilded woodwork in its interior, depicting the life of Christ and rural view of angels reaping corn, and harvesting and gathering grapes for the Last Supper. Roses, lilies and columbines run all along the nave on the ceiling, and glazed tiles cover almost all the interior walls from bottom to top. These tiles called Azulejo tiles, were not only used as ornamental art but also had a specific functional capacity like temperature control inside the church.
The main alter is surrounded by baroque gilt-painted carving depicting the 17th century architecture. It shines with radiance. At the foot of the alter adding splendour are delicate flowers, in red and yellowand white, all framed in lovely tasteful Madeiran embroidery. This alter piece was created by the painter Joao da Costa, who was buried in this church.