The town of Ribeira Brava is at the same time a fishing port and an agricultural center (exotic bananas and fruits), occupies a very pretty site: brood in a landscape of banana plantations and, higher, vineyards, the village with its spruce White Houses like is immersed in a sea of greenery. The place became these last years rather tourist.
A shaded and animated avenue skirts the beach, leading to a small quay.
The old city extends along the small split dug by will ribeira and of the beach. West of the latter, the presence of mole makes the access to the sea surer. On the left and on the right draw up dark rock faces - in the east, one dug a tunnel under the mountain which leads to the port.
In line with the frontage of the church, the bridge crosses the torrent towards the banana plantations which replaced the fields of cane become unproductive.
The church Saint Benoit (XVIE century) is preceded by a pretty square out of rollers of the river forming a mosaic of the most beautiful effect. It is surmounted by a bell-tower baroque capped with a pyramid in white and blue earthenware squares (azulejos) which draw a checkerwork. Seen through the branches of the banana trees and the pines of the close garden, the building offers one of the images characteristic of Portugal of overseas. The radiating white of the frontage of the church contrasts with the dark basalt of the window flannings while a pyramidal roof covered with azulejos geometrical crowns the bell-tower. The interior shelters floral azulejos, gilded statues and wood baroques of value dating from the 16th century, as well as an enormous baptismal tank manuéline surrounded by ropes and a pulpit, both offered by king Manuel 1st.
The church is regarded as the regional monument best preserved and best presented.
The church is opened with the public.
Flood of February 21st, 2010
Strong of São Bento
Under the plane trees which shade the be skirting the strike of black rollers, a tower, vestige of a modest fort of the 17th century recall the defensive role of Ribeira Brava at the time of the raids of the pirates.
The fort shelters the tourist office today.
The rua Visconde da Ribeira Brava leads to the Hôtel of Cheap, a quinta of the 18th century in the garden of which plane trees, date palms and a tree fern shade a small decorative basin.
The Ethnographic Museum of Madeira is also in a quinta (17th century); its collection of movable goods and traditional costumes deserves to be seen.