” The village of Funchal was settled, to which the captain gave the name beacause it was a beautiful valley of unusual groves of trees, full of fennel (funcho) to the sea … “
Gaspar Frutuoso, 16th cent
The municipality of Funchal, the name of the capital of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, is made up of ten parishes, Santa Maria Maior, Sé, São Pedro, Imaculado Coração de Maria, Santa Luzia, São Martinho, Santo António, São Roque, Monte and São Gonçalo. It is one of the oldest municipalities of the region, and it always affirmed itself as having the economic, social and cultural potential of a big city.
It was the first city created by the Portuguese in the Atlantic Ocean.
The city offers multiple leisure activities. One can visit its magnificent gardens, go shopping, get lost in its squares and picturesque streets with pavements of Portuguese mosaic stonework or simply enjoy the pleasant moments of rest in one of the esplanades of the central cafes. It is worth your while to get to know the various museums and city monuments.
- Palace of São Lourenço
- Museum of Quinta das Cruzes
- House-Museum of Frederico Freitas
- Sugar Museum
- Museum of Sacred Art
- Museum of Embroidery
- Story Centre
- Botanical Garden
Santa Clara Convent (15th century)
- Funchal Catedral, built in the 16th century
- St John the Baptist Church
- Monte Church, where the tomb of Emperor Charles I of Austria is located, the site of one of the most famous religious festivals, the festival of Nossa Senhora do Monte on August 15th.
Festivals and Events
The municipality of Funchal is truly rich in cultural events, namely in regard to Carnival, with two Carnival processions, and the Flower Festival, with a parade various floats decorated with the most varied types of flowers and truly colourful arrangements.
New Year’s is something else that should be noted, with special attention to a spectacular fireworks display that can be watched from all the different areas of the capital city.