The town of Funchal - Neighborhood of the Sé

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Avenida Doctor Manual of Arriaga
. Click to enlarge the image.The beautiful planted artery of jacarandas which, in spring, colors the purple one, and nicely paved connects the praça do Infante to tired. With its banks installed in imposing buildings, it is the great elegant way of Funchal. The avenue is bordered on the line by the clear mass of the old fortress of São Lourenço.
Fortaleza de São Lourenço
The Saint Laurent fortress is a fortress built at the 15th century, the place-even where, according to the legend, Zarco planted its padrão. It is the oldest citadel raised in Madeira, and it underwent many rehandlings. The fortress of origin, of style mannerist and manuélin, set up at the beginning of the 16th century in order to lodge the captain-donees of the island, was prolonged at the 18th century by the palace and its gardens. It has a turret notched in the east, characteristic of the period manuéline; the basalt blazon of the knights of Christ - it is reproduced on most historical buildings of Madeira - flowering ash this tower.

The fortress was supposed formerly to protect bay from the pirates, and the old guns still point by the crenels of the wall. During the reign of the Spanish kings one added three ramparts turned towards north.

This palace, with its ocher rough coat clearly on which is detached the green shutters, was used as residence to many captains and to governors of the Madeira.

. Click to enlarge the image.The Saint Laurent fortress in 1847. Cliquer pour agrandir l'image.The Saint Laurent fortress painted in 1865. Cliquer pour agrandir l'image.
Today, the fortress is always used as official residence for the Prime Minister and the military command of the archipelago of Madeira, and of the sentinels gloved of white and provided with automatic weapons keep the main entrance; the principal building is not accessible to the public but one can visit the exposure concerning the history and the development of the fortress. The visit of the palace makes it possible to admire a succession of noble living rooms, richly decorated.

Addresses: Avenida Zarco - Funchal

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday of 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00

Closing: Monday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.

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Jardim de São Francisco
. Click to enlarge the image.On the left of the Arriaga avenue, while going towards the center, is the small one but luxuriant Holy Jardin Francois, or garden Dona Amelia, true botanical park, rich in various gasolines, with the always flowered gasolines. Statues mix with the trees and with the exotic flowers and of the black swans slip on a small pond.

. Click to enlarge the image.It is here that the convent of São Francisco was, whose stone carrying the armorial bearings is exposed on a lawn.

This Jardim Municipal profits from a situation privileged in downtown area north of Avenida Arriaga: it is an ideal place to escape from the noise and automobile pollution from Funchal, in the shade liberally exempted by immense exotic trees.

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Adegas de São Francisco
In small the rua of São Francisco which borders the garden Saint Francois, the gate of Madeira Wine Association opens. These wine storehouses (armazem) of François Saint are the oldest cellars with wine of Funchal: the Scottish emigrant John Blandy founded them to the XIX E century.

The cellars occupy some buildings remaining of an old monastery of Franciscan build at the 16th century and destroy at the 19th century.

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There, the visitors can discover and taste one of the most extraordinary wines in the world, its single tradition and its history. One finds a remarkable press out of wooden there, barrels, tanks containing of the cubic meters of the best wines, and the accessories used for the manufacture of the wine. The visit, which understands cooperage, the cellars and a small museum, explains the characteristics of the production of the Madeira wine, and is completed by a free tasting.

Addresses: Avenida Arriaga, 28 - Funchal

Monday to Friday of 10:00 to 18:30. Saturday of 10:00 to 13:00

Closing: Sunday and bank holidays.

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Avenida João Gonçalves Zarco
. Click to enlarge the image.Continuing the Arriaga avenue towards the downtown area, one arrives then at the crossroads with the Zarco avenue, where the statue of the discoverer of Madeira, immortalized by the sculptor high-speed motorboat of Madeira, Francisco Franco, throne in front of the original frontage of the Bank value da Portugal and scans the horizon in the direction of the port. On the left, the Zarco avenue climbs in the direction of Santa Clara: just opposite the post office (correio) the entry of the building opens which shelters the offices of the Regional government (Governo da Região autónoma da Madeira). The framings of black lava of the windows arise on its beautiful rough-cast frontage of white. The terrace which precedes the latter is decorated of a modern statue of the sower, illustration of the primarily agricultural vocation of the island which has of another objective to only sow to produce.

The block of buildings (pretty court and beautiful yellow and blue plinths of azulejos) of old Junta General also gives on the Arriaga avenue by a large door in ironwork. The frontage with the high noble windows, which was that of the hospital Santa Isabel founded in 1511, disappears under the foliages and the flowers from the jacarandas.

At the end of the Zarco avenue, narrow the rua das Pretas leads very quickly at the bottom of the calçada of Santa Clara.

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. Click to enlarge the image.The Arriaga avenue emerges in front of the Cathedral (Sé, of sedes, i.e. the seat of the bishop). Before visiting it, it is necessary to visit the lanes which cut rua João Tavira (on the right). In the rua das Murças, one finds souvenir shops and, in the rua da Alfândega, several stores selling of superb embroideries.

The cathedral was built between 1485 and 1514, year when it was devoted, by the knights about Christ, and was the first Portuguese cathedral of overseas.

Of style manuélin, it presents a very sober frontage where the white rough coat contrasts agreeably with black basalt and the red tuff. Only the splendid stone rosette and the sumptuous gate make exception to this extreme simplicity.

It opens by a medieval gate with brown warhead which is detached on the frontage in white rough coat.

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It is inside that this architectural style of the 16th century, influenced by the New World, deploys its magnificence.

The nave, enlightened on side by the sun, is separated from the side alleys by arcades of painted lava supported by fine columns.

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On the high part of the nave, the gilded statues apostles, Doctorss of the Church and saints, from rather primitive execution, come out on a blue bottom. Played are decorated wood sculptures of til, where grotesque animals and characters animate biblical scenes.
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has especially a splendid ceiling artesonado (with boxes and marquetry, of style mudéjar) out of wood of cedar, with the underlined Moorish reasons for incrustations out of wooden of juniper and ivory, one of the pure masterpieces of the Portuguese religious art. These reasons inspired by the time of the Discoveries, are unfortunately not very visible because of the darkness.
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. Click to enlarge the image.The chorus is decorated stalls manuélines of wood, originating in Flandres, also painted in blue and gold. Above high altar, twelve panels of Flemish painting form a beautiful retable (16th century) which surmounts a delicate compartmentalized vault.

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In the collateral vaults, in addition to the gilded furnace bridges, one still distinguishes from the fragments of the azulejos with tons neutral which decorated the walls formerly with them.

On the right of chorus, the vault of the Blessed Sacrament (Sacramento), 18th century, presents a rich marble baroques decoration. It shelters a silver gate vault of the end of the 17th century.

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The pulpit and the baptismal font, of the 16th century, out of marble of Arràbida, were offered by king Dom Manuel.
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. Click to enlarge the image.. Click to enlarge the image.The apse is decorated with notched balusters and pinnacles with twists. To cross the church by the left side, while following the oblique spoke of light, and to gain the small open place behind the apse.

In a tiny room a stoup baroque hides. While raising the eyes, one discovers the heavy square bell-tower, girds moreover of a line of crenels, and capped of a roof in the shape of pyramid, decorated with decorative earthenware squares.

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A grid opens on the rua do Aljube, where the flower market is held. The commercial ones, in costume of Camacha (corselet and loose skirt with the multicoloured stripes) sell superb bouquets to with it. With two steps from there, the largo do Chafariz makes it possible to gain quickly, on the left, the praça do Municipio.
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Capela Santo António da Mouraria
. Click to enlarge the image.It is the old vault Saint Antoine da Mouraria, dedicated to Saint Antoine da Mouraria in tribute to his work achieved in North Africa.

This vault, which goes back to 1715, was formerly located inside the walls of the old customs.

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Praça do Município
Elegant Place of the Town hall is the heart animated of Funchal, paved paving stones white and black and flowered tulipiers; it is decorated with a capped obelisk of a surmounted sphere armillaire of a cross of Christ. She is bordered on three sides of many interesting monuments, Colégio and her church, the town hall, and the old bishopric become museum of Sacred art.
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Igreja do Colégio
. Click to enlarge the image.All the northern side of the place of the Town hall is occupied by the long frontage of the old College of the Jesuits. Its bored white frontage of windows with black basalt framing and a its Gothic gate of same material, order all the decoration of the place of the Town hall.

The Collegiate church (Igreja do Colégio), or church Saint-Jean the Evangelist (Igreja de São João Evangelista), is a vast construction baroque of the 17th century. Its construction began in 1629 and finished in first half of the 18th century. It is a typical example of church Jesuit, with a vast nave, a false transept and a roomy chorus.

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The frontage comprises the trigram, emblem of the Society of Jesus, IHS, composed of the three Greek letters: I (iota), H (eta) and S (sigma), abbreviation of the Greek name of Jesus, ΙΗσουΣ. The niches dug in the frontage shelter statues of saint Ignace (Santo Inácio de Loyola), bellow on the left, holy François-Xavier (São Francisco Xavier), bellow on the right, holy François Borgia (São Francisco de Borja), in top on the left, and holy Stanislas (São Estanislau Kostka), in top on the right. At the top of the frontage the royal weapons of Portugal are visible.
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. Click to enlarge the image.The roomy nave, with the pink tonalities, is decorated with azulejos baroques of 17th and 18th centuries and glowing retables of gildings.

The stoups located at the entry are carved in the marble and are laid out on a support in form of shell; they date from the 18th century.

The pulpits, in bay-tree and mahogany, go back to 1720.

The folding screen of the gate, going back to 1720, is a remarkable work of marquetry, using wood buildings, the stinking bay-tree, or til, (Ocotea foetens) and the bay-tree of the Azores (Laurus azorica), as well as imported exotic wood of Brazil.

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The chorus is resplendent gilded wood sculptures. It is decorated of a retable considered as one of the jewels of the woodcutting madérienne. Created in 1646, this retable was altered in 1660 to accommodate the Blessed Sacrament. Today it presents a statue of the patron saint, Saint-Jean the Evangelist. The statuettes of the retable represent the first four saints of the Congregation of the Jesuits: in bottom, St Ignatius Loyola and Holy François-Xavier; in top, Holy François de Borja and Gonzague Saint Louis.

Two important paintings are visible in the chorus: a Nativity (Flemish painting of the 16th century) and a Worship of Three Wise Men (Venetian painting of the 16th century).

Under the tomb stone rests Helene de Bettencourt.

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Vault of Saint Michel Archangel.
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Furnace bridge of Our Lady of the People and Holy Joseph.
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The interior makes it possible to discover impressive painted ceilings comprising three false domes painted in trompe-l’oeil.
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After the expulsion of the Jesuits, on July 16th, 1760, the church Saint-Jean the Evangelist was closed during many years.

In 1787, by authorization of the queen Maria I Gave, the building was occupied by the seminar diocesan.

In the years 1801 and 1802, and between 1807 and 1814, the college was used as quartering with the British troops at the 19th century.

In 1846, work of safeguard and restoration was undertaken, and, in 1848, the College was reserved for the Diocese and returned to the religious service.

It became now an institution of secondary education (one can enter the court).

Municipal Câmara
The Town hall, on the side is place, occupies the old palace baroque of a commercial rich person, the count João José de Carvalhal (18th century), whose beautiful square tower camps the silhouette.

The building, good example of the typical style madérien, is elegant with its impeccable white rough coat on which the embrasures are detached from the doors and basalt gray-black windows.

The Town hall also shelters a small museum of the City (Museu da Cidade do Funchal) without large of interest.

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The hall, which gives access to the patio, is papered of azulejos blue and white.
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One can see in the patio a gracious statue of “Leda and the swan” (19th century), which was formerly in the old fish market.
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Museu de Arte Crowned
In the south of the Place of the Town hall draws up one of the frontages of the old episcopal palace, but it is by the rua C close Bispo (on the right while going down) that one gains the museum of Sacred art installed in the building. The Museum of Sacred art is unquestionably the most beautiful museum of Madeira. Its collection understands objects resulting from the churches and monasteries from the island: invaluable dresses, crosses raised at the time of processions, the liturgical ustensils and the statues of saints. Its collections of primitive Portuguese and especially Flemish deserve a visit absolutely: they are regarded as most invaluable of Portugal.

The colors are as sharp as if they had just been painted and, on most these fabrics, the splendid details which surround the principal subject are of an interest almost equal to the subject itself. They were bought by sugar the commercial rich person of Funchal who, at the 16th century, exchanged their “white gold” against the principal artistic treasures of the time.

By visiting the section of primitive, on the second floor of the museum, one is astonished by abundance by Flemish works signed by the great names (Roger van der Weyden, Bouts, Gerard David and Memling), and by the quality of Portuguese paintings of 15th and 16th century. To notice the Worship of the Shepherds coming from the church of Ribeira Faced, the Holy sumptuously dressed Marie-madeleine, and a Worship of the Magi (beginning of the 16th century) who decorated formerly the church with Machico. Certain panels present paintings on the two faces, like this Deposition with, with the back, an Appearance of Christ with Marie.

One can only be astonished in front of these treasures by the Flemish school whose Madeira is indebted with the trade of sugar.

The collection of religious goldsmithery understands many melted parts with Funchal with the brought back gold and the money of Americas. The cross of the 16th century, offered to Madeira by Handbook 1st, constitutes the nail of this section.

Visit 10:00 at 12:30 and of 14 h 30 at 17:00; Sunday of 10:00 to 13:00; closed Monday and bank holidays.

Paying entry.

Alfândega Nova
After being returned on its steps until the avenida do Mar, following the sea front. One passes in front of the New Customs, beautiful building of the years 1960 which is drawn up with the angle of the skirting boulevard will ribeira it Santa Luzia. On a small place in overhang, a little further on the right, Alfândega Velha (Old Customs) presents a gate manuélin, black as the external staircase which climbs beside the frontage with the green wind-braces.

To return then towards the center while strolling in the avenida do Mar, which border of many smart coffees. One of them, Vagrant, is arranged in the old yacht of Beatles…

Sledges with shoes drawn by oxen station sometimes on the avenue of the Sea. Formerly being used for transport of the barrels, they allow today the tourists charmed to discover the city without tiredness.

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