20 Oct 2017
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The Hotels of the time Print E-mail
During the last quarter of the 19th century, the Island of Madeira was target of several initiatives in order to create essential infrastructures for tourism, which would develop during the following century.
The natural beauties of the island made it attractive to foreigners. Its exotic atmosphere pleased many artists who allow it to be known abroad. The landscapes, the main monuments, the 'Quinta', culture and traditions are well documented in their pictures, which were widely reprinted. Photography was also established in Madeira very early on and soon became a modern form to document the past and allow people to remember the best moments.
Hotels of the time
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In 1865, the town of Funchal was already quite equipped to receive tourists. At the time, some guesthouses and hotels existed already.
In 1904, the Monte Palace Hotel was inaugurated. Surrounded by a superb landscape it became very attractive to Portuguese and foreign tourists.
With architecture similar to the banks of the Rhine, this hotel, serviced by Monte train, had gorgeous gardens with natural springs and lakes.
The Monte Palace, was the best and biggest hotel in the parish of Monte, but there were others of smaller dimensions such as Reid's Mount Park Hotel, Grande Hotel Belmonte and Hotel Caminhata.





The Festival of Nossa Senhora do Monte Print E-mail
The Romaria de Nossa Senhora do Monte dates from the beginning of the colonization of the island, it is the biggest and most popular Christian festival in Madeira.
The festival begins on the 14th of August in the evening. It is very animated and lively and a great night of fun. Thousands of people come to the centre of the parish where nothing is missing including the traditional ''espetada'' beef on the skewer and the regional drinks from the island. Throughout the night there is singing and dancing, both contemporary and traditional rhythms.
The Festival of Nossa Senhora do Monte

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In the following day, 15th of August, dedicated to Santo de Guarda (Guardian Saint), after the mass, a great number of believers follow the procession, which walks along a great part of the parish.
A vast number of people walk on the procession in order to ''pay'' for their promises (requests). Sometimes they take with them parts of the body made of wax, symbolizing the received favour from the deity.
This takes place every year.
Everyone always awaits the festival of Monte with great anxiety. Often it is the occasion to meet friends and family who left long time ago.
People meet again, regain friendships and have a drink; it is the perfect harmony between sacred and profane.




Monte Print E-mail
Monte is one of the most pleasant places in Madeira.
With a privileged location over the amphitheatre of Funchal, the parish of Monte, located about 9 Km from the centre and 550 m above sea level, is no doubt one of the must see places in Funchal.
With lush vegetation and amazing views over the amphitheatre and the bay of Funchal, it has always been a preferred place for the visitors of Madeira since the beginning of tourism in the Island.

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The parish of Monte is one of the 10 parishes of the council of Funchal.

Places to Visit:


  • From the path in Largo das Babosas to the bank of the ravine João Gomes, “Green Corridor” of about 8Km long;
  • From Monte to Camacha;
Among the most pleasant places with amazing views, the high part of the Nossa Senhora do Monte parish is the most well known by all the visitors of Madeira Island.
Monte was named after a small chapel built and dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of Monte).
Beautiful “Quintas” (Estates) occupied the settled parts of the parish in the 16th century.
The main attraction for most of the tourists, Portuguese and foreigners, who visited the Madeira Island was around the Church of Nossa Senhora do Monte.
A trip to Monte was recommended in the touristic guides of the Region and it was almost compulsory.
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Around 1910 some hotels of excellent quality and several residencies for foreigners operated in the area.
This touristic resort was not only visited by foreigners, who stayed temporarily, as well as transit passengers in the port of Funchal, and sailors of war ships that stopped in the island.
The first visits to Monte occurred on horse, in a net or on foot.
Later, the operation of the railway in Monte increased greatly the visitors to the parish of Nossa Senhora do Monte. This railway contained a lift that connected the station of Pombal to the parish of Monte. The railway line was later extended to Terreiro da Luta.
After a visit to Monte, tourists could experiment a very peculiar sensation: to go down to the city in a toboggan (carro-de-cestos) manoeuvred by two men that sided down the inclined pavement of the old road from Monte until Funchal.
English, German and Portuguese businessmen tried, before the first World War, to create conditions, ever more attractive, to the arrival of foreigners to the Island. Thus, they created infrastructures based on the natural beauty offered by each corner of Madeira.
Nossa Senhora do Monte was the first of these touristic resorts to be serviced by transports.
In this way, Madeira began a new cycle in its scarce economy, by stimulating a new industry: Tourism.
In that magnificent place in addition to hotels, possible walks and gardens, there were many Quintas and private Vilas, which constitute a paradise to their owners. Among the most beautiful was Quinta Cossart, also known as Quinta do Monte (today Quinta do Imperador).
The tourists who enjoyed Nature could walk, for instance: from Monte until Bom Sucesso and from Monte Church to Largo das Babosas, where they could visit the chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceição and carry on to Curral dos Romeiros.
A visit to Park Leite Monteiro, later known by Park Elias Garcia and today just known as Park, was a “must do”.




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