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The quinta das Cruzes

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General presentationGeneral information
. Click to enlarge the image.. Click to enlarge the image.Most famous quinta of Funchal, Quinta das Cruzes, is a historical manor of style baroque, which would have formerly been the official residence of João Gonçalves Zarco, the first Master of the Madeira, during its career of governor.

Quinta was set up at the 15th century, but was rebuilt at the end of the 18th century after the earthquake of 1748, then increased at the 19th century.

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Quinta das Cruzes: the “field of the Crosses”.


Museum of Decorative Arts
The principal building of Quinta became a museum today cash a large collection of decorative art and antiquities of 17th and 18th century:
  • At the ground floor, in the low rooms, old storerooms, the museum of decorative Arts shelters pieces of furniture of the Portuguese Rebirth which contain a large variety of late additions by the sailors with 16th and 17th centuries.
  • The large trunks studded in mahogany tree come from the ships in which one transported sugar of Brazil (caixa of açúcar, “case with sugar”). Armchairs, statuettes, cabinets encrusted with ivory, sedan-chair sheathed of leather, great triptych in cedar also evoke the record of the time of the Discoveries.
  • The bottom of the last room is occupied by a Flemish retable of second half of the 15th century representing a Nativity. A window contains part of the treasure found in the wreck of a Dutch galleon of the East India Company Eastern which ran aground Oporto Santo in 1724.
  • The collections of the stage are of European origin: the English pieces of furniture of 17th and 18th century dominate there, but one sees there also Dresden chinas, ivories, vases of Sevres, a tapestry of the Goblins, as well as Portuguese terra cotta statuettes.
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Room of Portuguese decorative Arts and Europeans of the 15th-17th centuries.

Furniture says “box-with-sugar”.

In this space, the oldest whole of the permanent exposure of the Museum is, related to the importance of the business cycle of the sugar, initially produced in Madeira between the 15th century and the first quarter of the 16th century, and imported thereafter towards the island starting from other colonies.

The trade initially established starting from Madeira gave place to a network of contacts between royal intendants and Portuguese sales agents in the Flemish ports, which were not only used as intermediaries in the commercial treaty but also for the purchase of art on the request of monarchies, the court, the clergy and private individuals. The large collection of Flemish art which is on the Madeira, with the particular importance of the whole of sculptures and paintings, is one of the most visible faces of the relations established with this economic center.

From the sculptural whole of Flemish production of the Museum, is distinguished the Retable from the Nativity produced in Brussels in second half of the 15th century, allotted to the workshop of the Master of the Retable of Rieden (currently in Stuttgart, Germany). This part comprises three scenes referring to the life of the Virgin and the childhood of Christ: “Engagement of the Virgin” (left side), “Nativity” (in the center) and “Worship of Kings Mages” (right-sided), framed by a ciborium with a delicate lace decoration of the final Gothic.

Registered in this wave of importation of Flemish art, one also notices the sculpture of the Immaculate Conception and a Baby Jesus Sauveur of the World, who represent renewed spirituality of Devotio Moderna, included in the dévotionnelles values in vogue during the 16th century.

As a whole sculptural, we also notice the Holy Isabelle of Hungary, production Italian, out of clay vitrified, contemporary moreover of the unit.

In the whole of Flemish paintings, the religious representations also dominate, in particular the Worship of Kings Mages of the end of the 16th century, painting referring to Ecce Homo and the interesting representation of Verónica secando has face of Cristo has caminho do Calvário.

Taking into consideration furniture exposed in this room, the national production prevails, in particular with the sideboard in juniper with sgraffites, the 16th century.

The plates with offerings of Nuremberg, the 16th century, supplement this unit.

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Room of decorative Arts mudéjares or hispano-Moorishes: furniture, ceramics and azulejos of 16th and 17th centuries.

The use of the squares Arabists, and esthetics mudéjare, spread with the whole of the Portuguese territory since the beginning of the 16th century, not so much because of the direct influence of Portuguese relations with the Islamic world, nor because of the later Spanish presence (1580-1640) (which had strong Arab ramifications in the south of Spain), but rather because of its esthetic character, imported by the precedents controlling Portuguese and used in the decoration of the buildings.

It is this esthetics which is obvious in the whole of the squares hispano-Moorishes exposed on the walls, and in which prevail the spangled reasons and vegetalists, but also metric combinations, if present in architecture and textile art, a pure revelation of Islamic art. The exposed azulejos date from the first quarter of the 16th century and a part probably comes from the Convent, now disappeared, of Our Lady of Pity, in Santa Cruz.

The art of the Islamic ceramics of influence was also diffused by the famous plates of Manises, where the decorative elements are emphasized by the means of metal reflections.

The offices known as Vargaños, whose two specimens are presented in this room, represent another facet of art hispano-Arabic very diffused in the Iberian world. One can detect in these parts of furniture, dated mainly from 16th and 17th centuries, the Arab influence, in particular in the sophisticated geometrical diagrams of the decorative composition, which also influenced the fittings.

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Quinta das Cruzes is in full heart of splendid gardens filled of sculptures, tropical and subtropical flowers, and trees. These gardens shelter the most varied species plants and flowers.

This true botanical garden has kapokiers, dragonniers, araucarias, cedars, and tree ferns. A greenhouse shelters a beautiful collection of orchises and a multiplicity of other flowers.

In the garden two beautiful windows manuélines are. They belonged to the Our Lady convent of Pity (Nossa Senhora da Piedade) with Santa Cruz.

Garden, a splendid sight embraces Funchal, the hills and mountains close and the yachts and other boats to cruising balancing itself in bay.

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Stone museum
On the left of the house to the large glazed windows, the small, strange stone Museum in the middle of the exotic vegetation, in the open air presents vestiges of houses of Masters and monasteries coming from the oldest sites of the island: some elements of sculptures coming from the churches of Funchal, of the tomb stones, two beautiful framings of window of style manuélin and a fragment of the pilori (pelourinho) of Funchal, high at the end of the 15th century and demolished in 1835.
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History and traditionsHistory, literature, arts, traditions, legends, religions, myths, symbols…

. Click to enlarge the image.The construction of Quinta das Cruzes was carried out by the first captains donees of Funchal, João Gonçalves Zarco and its son João Gonçalves de Câmara at the end of the 15th century, beginning of the 16th century. During the 17th century, this field underwent changes, becoming at the beginning of the 18th century Quinta Madereinse (madérien Field), including the principal masonry, the Vault, Casinhas de Prazer (maisonnettes of pleasure) and the raised park. The field was acquired by the State in 1946 and was opened with the public as a museum on May 28th, 1953.

InformationPractical informations

General information
Addresses: Calçada do Pico nº1 9000-206 Funchal

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday of 10:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 to 17:30, Sunday of 10:00 to 13:00

Closing: Monday and bank holidays.

Paying entry.

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