23 Sep 2017
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Pillory Square
pelorinho_280_300 This small square, now ‘sunk’ between the mouths of the torrents João Gomes and Santa Luzia, was the centre of the city during the 15th and 16th centuries. Here functioned Funchal’s first Customhouse and the first commercial trading stations

At the centre of today's Square, from 1989, you can find the Pillory of Funchal from 1486



Rua Dr. Fernão de Ornelas (Street)

Traditionally a trading street located in the centre of Funchal.

This street is a good example of the alterations that occurred in the city in the decade of 1940.

A recovery work of the façades was carried out during the last years; they were painted in different colours, which emphasized the different architectural features of that time.



florista_280_300 The Florists, with their traditional skirts with stripes sell not only the most delicate flowers from all over the world but also seasonal flowers that grow in the Island.



Praça do Carmo (Square)

Here visitors can find beautiful examples of the seventies architecture in the City of Funchal, such as the Palácio dos Cônsules (Palace of the Consuls).

Rua da Conceição (Street) is one of the oldest streets in the city and it crosses this square all the way to the Church - Igreja do Carmo.

In all this block of streets one can find today several small restaurants and pastry shops. It is a meeting point for many locals, mainly at lunchtime and afternoons. The architectural intervention during the decade of 1990 had an important role in bringing this area to life.



Ribeira de Santa Luzia (Torrent)

Ribeira de Santa Luzia is one of the three torrents that cross the City of Funchal and, as the other two, it is covered in Bougainvillaea (climber plant) in different colours. This climber from Brazil is very common in the entire Island.

The rivers of Funchal covered by Bougainvillaea are a typical 'Touristic Postcard' from the City of Funchal.



Art Deco Façade
Art Deco Façade in Rua dos Tanoeiros (Tanoeiros Sreet). This street used to be one of the most important commercial streets in Funchal. 

Largo dos Varadouros (Square) - The Town Gate
porta_da_cidade_280_300 The Town Gate located in Largo dos Varadouros, is a restitution of the old Town Entrance that used to close the defensive wall of Funchal. The Governor D. Lourenço de Almeida ordered this Gate in 1689, which was demolished in 1911.

The renovation work followed a historical study and the porch was built in concrete with cement and materials from the Region. Original pieces were brought from the Museum Quinta das Cruzes such as the crown, royal weapons and the tombstone.

Columbus Square
This square occupies an area of the most ancient commercial blocks of the city, which was destroyed by a great fire in the seventies. The fire, which started in the hardware shop 'Casa das Balanças' soon spread to all this area destroying the buildings around, mostly warehouses.

The ruins of those buildings remained there for many years until 1984, when the Borough of Funchal cleared the entire area and implemented a recovery plan. That plan included a square, which would be named after Columbus, as the famous navigator once lived in that place. Christopher Columbus visited Madeira in 1498, and he stayed in a house in this area, which belonged to João Esmeraldo, the old. It was a house with Gothic architectural traces, built in 1494, when the sugar trade generated vast fortunes in the Island. From then on that house became known as 'Casa de Colombo' - Columbus House.

In August 1989 archaeological excavations began.

In the area where once stood the 'House of Columbus', and others, a collection of ceramics from the 18th century was found, as well as coins in a very poor condition as well as human and animal bones. One can say that a great collection dating from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries was uncovered.

Following the plan of the Borough, in 1990, a parking lot was built, in 1992, the Sugar Town Museum was constructed and in 1993, the plan was completed with the recovery of all the surrounding area of the Columbus Square Nucleus.

Nowadays the Columbus Square is a pleasant place in Funchal where visitors can enjoy shopping as well as bars, restaurants and teahouses.

This space is also used for many public events.



Funchal city hall
camara 3

After moving through several buildings, Funchal's Town Hall was finally installed on the first half of the 19th century in its present location: a building ordered by Conde de Carvalhal in 1758.

In 1940 the building and the surrounding space were subject to important recovery work giving it the appearance that it has today.

In the northern façade, in front of the Court there is a bas-relief of Santiago Menor, from 1944, by the sculpture António Duarte.

The main access is through a doorway carved in grey stone.

The noble saloon is decorated in revival baroque style furniture from the forties.



Regional Legislative Assembly of Madeira
assembleia The Regional Legislative Assembly of Madeira is installed in this building since the 16thcentury, what used to be the City´s Custom.

The ancient Customs of Funchal had a Gothic flavor, alfarge ceilings and a Mudejar architecture style and was built around 1519.

This building has undergone several changes and improvements in the 17th and 18th century.

In 1982 work began on the restoration of this property for future installation of the Regional Legislative Assembly of Madeira.

The responsibility of the architecture was left to Chorão Ramalho, and was completed five years later, inaugurated this new building in December 1987.

In the yard, near the chapel, was placed a statue of the Madeiran sculptor Amândio Sousa, entitled "Powers Trilogy"

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday - 9h00 to 13h00 and 14h00 to 18h00
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Free Entrance
Guided visits are previously appointed via e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

manueline Style Door
porta_manuelina_280_300 Manueline Style Door (from 1516) in Rua da Alfândega (Alfândega Street)

Town Pier
The Town Pier, in the old days known as “Porta de Entrada” - Entry Gate to the City of Funchal requires a compulsory visit.
Construction began in 1889, it substituted an older harbour from the 18th century in Pontinha, next to S. José fort, in front of Penha de França.

The new port was completed in 1895. Greatly increased in 1930, it was inaugurated in its present form on the 28th of May 1933.




Regional Government Building

Funchal Old Mercy / General Board Palace

The construction of a Mercy which would be called St. Isabel Hospital began in the 17th century. The work progressed slowly and the transfer of patients was made as the conditions evolved. The new Mercy, the Gathering of Orphans and the House of the Insane were finally installed only in 1726. In the early 20th century, a nursery for the English was established, later called British Infirmary. In 1927 new works took place, and in 1931, after the construction of Marmeleiros Hospital, patients were gradually transferred to the new facility. In 1933 the property was granted for the installation of the District General Board. With the works of the opening/expansion of Avenida Zarco, part of the building was demolished, the former corresponding to the local medical center, leaving only the door armories with the royal coat arms of Portugal.

The building of the then General Board, today home to some departments of the Regional Government of Madeira, went later through improvements. From this time, what remains still is the beautiful polychrome tile panels with allegories of the 17th century, and a large mural that is on the staircase leading to the Noble Salon, previously the former Regional Legislative Assembly room, later transferred to its new headquarters in Funchal Customs House.


João Gonçalves Zarco Statue

The statue of João Gonçalves Zarco, who discover Madeira and was the First Hereditary Fief of Funchal was entrusted to the sculptor Francisco Franco.

Inaugurated in 1934 it has a pedestal with four panels design by the architect Cristiano da Silva. The panels relate to the Discoveries: Settlement, Conquest, Wisdom and Evangelisation.



Bank of Portugal

This building is the main branch of the Bank of Portugal in Madeira. It was inaugurated in 1940, designed by the architect Edmundo Tavares.

The façade in grey stone displays ornamental motifs in white marble.



Municipal Garden
jardins_280_300 The Municipal Garden is located right in the centre of the city, north of Avenida Arriaga, on a ground which once belonged to the Franciscan Convent.
From the Convent only remains the marble coat of arms with the arms of the Franciscans and the Portuguese Kingdom. The coat of arms can be seen on one of the lawns of the garden.
In October 1885 the new green space received the name of Municipal Garden and was later renamed Garden of Dona Amelia.

With the fall of the monarchy in October 1910, the old name returned: Municipal Garden.

Within this space, visitors can observe some examples of Madeiran flora and a great variety of species from different tropical and subtropical regions.
On the 21st of August 1992, an auditorium was inaugurated, which is frequently used for different cultural activities.

Also worth mentioning are some of the works of art such as: the statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Paul and Virginia from 1943, the busts of João Fernandes Vieira - Liberator of Pernambuco, the writer João Reis Gomes and Simon Bolivar.

Location: Rua Ivens (N), Av. Arriaga (S) | Sé - Funchal
Area: 8.300 m2 | Altitude: 20 m
Free Entrance
Contacts: Tel.: 291 231 501 | Fax: 291 231 502
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Useful Information: Amphitheatre, auditorium, bathrooms, restaurants, kiosk



Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre
This theatre located in Avenida Arriaga, inaugurated in 1888, displays the neo-classic lines of the National Theatre São Carlos, in Lisbon, which is the model for almost all theatres built in Portugal in the 19th century.

A project by engineer Tomás Augusto Soler, in 1848, was first called Theatre D. Maria Pia, in homage to the Portuguese Queen of Italian origin. After the Implementation of the Republic, it received the name of Funchal Theatre.

Since 1921, after the death of Dr. Manuel de Arriaga, a former Madeira deputy and the first President of the Portuguese Republic, the theater was named after him, and since 1930, was named after Madeiran dramatist from the 16th century, Baltazar Dias.  



Town Wall
muralha_280_300 With the attack of French corsairs, from 1560 the fortification and defence of the Island attracted the interest of the Government and the population of Funchal.
Based on the Fortification regime of D. Sebastião, dated from 1572, the city was surround by walls.
Around the end of the 16th century, the town wall of Funchal was completed.

Three parts of the wall were built:
- In front of the sea and along of the torrents São João and João Gomes.

The walls bordered the torrents, following their lines and using them as moats.
It is believed that there were five gates on the Town Wall of Funchal:
Two served the sea and three served the town.

By the 19th century most all of the wall along the torrent João Gomes and the centre of the city had disappeared. In military terms, it had lost its interest, and for the inhabitants it was an obstacle to get to the river and its banks.

There is very little left from the wall these days, but this part remains in Major Reis Gomes Street with 3,40m height and about 1,20m wide.
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