Funchal

Funchal

Funchal

Funchal city, Madeira Island

Funchal is the capital of Madeira and the most populous out of the Portuguese mainland. The city matches your county, and has 76.15 km ² and 111,892 inhabitants (2011), subdivided in 10 parishes. The metropolitan area of Funchal, which includes the Câmara de Lobos municipalities, Ribeira Brava, Santa Cruz and Machico, has a population of 225,000 inhabitants.
 
The view of Funchal is magnificent, with its crooked streets that go down the mountain side, and in front of the blue sea. This breathtaking landscape has captivated visitors from around the world. The city’s name has to do with the amount of fennel growing in this valley and that impressed the browser Joao Goncalves Zarco, arrived here in 1420.
 
The climate is subtropical, verifying mild temperatures throughout the year .. However, the landscape resembles more of a Mediterranean country that the tropics. Seen from afar, Funchal is also a sea of colorful vegetation, dominated by shades of pink bougainvillea, purple jacaranda trees and the spectacular red-trees fire that line the roads.
 
The streets branch out from the polarizing center, the Cathedral, built by King Manuel I. In downtown, the old town, we highlight several churches and the eighteenth and nineteenth century houses. The flowers and fruit markets in the main squares of the city are characteristic aspects of Funchal, not forgetting the toboggans that descend steeply from Monte Funchal, on a steep descent, directed by skilled men, the so-called “carreiros”.
Funchal is not only an ancient city. Without losing its pristine beauty, known track progress and a little everywhere were showing big hotels, shops and other attractions by addressing the needs of modern tourism.
 
Santa Maria Maior is the oldest parish of Funchal, predominantly the undergrowth houses there were built since the beginning of settlement. To protect this unique architecture, the entire historic center has been classified. Many buildings have hundreds of years and still have the respective built-in ovens on the exterior walls. street entertainment no shortage.
During recent years this zone has been completely recovered. They opened good typical restaurants and people of all ages are now able to enjoy the freshness of a large garden and can take a cable car ride. St. James Fort, built in the first half of the seventeenth century, during the Spanish occupation (1580-1640). Currently houses the Contemporary Art Museum.
 
The Farmers Market is two steps from the historic area, and was designed by architect Edmundo Tavares in style between the art deco typical of the 30s and modernism. The main door opens onto a patio, animated daily by sales of fruits and vegetables. All exposed in elegant stands and ready to be seen, smelled and tasted. Counter tops made of flowers are a color world apart: loaded with camellias, proteas, strelitzias and orchids. Florists are presented with colorful costumes. Upstairs, the arcades surrounding the courtyard reminiscent of an oriental market. At one end of the building is the fish market, exposing all that the richest Atlantic waters have to offer.
 
Funchal is crossed by three streams, covered with colorful bougainvillea creepers. The respective beds were settled by the French Brigadier General Reynaldo Oudinot. The expansion of the city did not occur in a planned manner. With the influence of demographic and the economic climate, the houses began to “conquer” the valley.
In the central area still dominated by Gothic and Baroque buildings, with heavy and sober look. One of the characteristic elements of local architecture are the stone frames around the doors and windows. The hipped roofs are one of the city’s charms. Decorations toppings include figures carved with the most curious reasons, as a child heads, the pigeons, cats or British Bulldogs.
 
The heart of the city beats next to the cathedral and almost all public buildings that surround it have kept the original design. The construction of the Cathedral in 1485 was ordered by King Manuel who gave precise instructions for its location and funding. The construction was completed in 1514.
If we use the cathedral as a starting point, there are dozens of streets and squares to visit around, all lined with traditional Portuguese sidewalk. Madeira has created its own sidewalk version using pebbles and cobbles of small rolled. It is also a widely used solution in gardens and exteriors of farms.
The Sacred Art Museum is housed in the former Bishop’s Palace. The museum has a rich collection of Flemish paintings, evocative splendor of the sugar trade: many of the paintings were purchased by the merchants of the sixteenth century. One of the museum’s façade is facing the Town Hall Square. At the center is a fountain designed by architect Raul Lino in 1942. At one of the tops of the square are the Town Hall, and the block to the north occupied by the St. John the Evangelist School Church which belonged to the Jesuits.
 
Climbing the Pretas Street we come to the area of São Pedro and Santa Clara. Since the beginning of settlement was here that settled the most important families. Pursuing the steep walk of Rua Santa Clara found the Casa Museu Frederico de Freitas. In the spaces surrounding the main building we can find a copy of a cool house, which in Madeira call “houses of pleasure.”
Continuing uphill, there are the Santa Clara Convent and Santa Clara Church. The convent was founded by the son of João Gonçalves Zarco. Both are buried here. Across the João Carlos Abreu Universe of Memories museum, exposing sculpture, painting and a library. Across the street is another museum, the Quinta das Cruzes, in the house where João Gonçalves Zarco lived. It is surrounded by lush gardens where we can see an archaeological park, lapidary stones and Orquideario.
 
Back to the Arriaga Avenue we can visit the San Francisco cellars, also known as Old Blandy Wine Lodges. The facilities of the former San Francisco Convent have exceptional conditions to house the Madeira Wine Company old wines. The wine stores hundreds of vintage bottles with over a hundred years, ready to sell to the public. Between wineries and aging facilities here will be stored 800,000 liters of wine.
Across the street is the fortress and St. Lawrence palace, beautiful example of seventeenth-century military architecture and residence of the island’s governors between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, being classified as a national monument. Soon after we find the splendid Baltazar Dias Municipal Theatre, built between 1884 and 1887 and inspired by the famous “La Scala” in Milan.
 
In the city accommodation is not a problem, existing options for all tastes and pockets. Being the Madeiran hospitality an art anywhere in the coutnry the standards of the service provided is very high. One of the most inspired creations of Madeira is Reid’s Palace Hotel. Enter here is like taking a trip back in time. The hotel represents the realization of the dream of William Reid, a Scotsman who came to Madeira with 14 years and with only five pounds in his pocket, worked tirelessly to build one of the most luxurious hotels in Europe.
Oscar Niemeyer, the famous Brazilian modernist architect designed a remarkable set in the second half of the 70s: the Casino forms of Madeira and the neighboring Casino Park Hotel dialogue with each other, to the point draw a sun and a moon when seen from the air.
Along Estrada Monumental developed a new tourist area with several four and five star hotels featuring up along the coast. Tourism is one of the pillars of the Madeira economy and this is reflected in how visitors are welcomed. For a quieter stay abound traditional farms tailored to the hospitality of charm.
 
The village of Monte is located 600 meters above sea level, which gives you a cooler climate and a green landscape. Here is held annually on 15 August, the largest procession of the island, the Senhora do Monte. It is in this church that was buried the former emperor of Austria, Charles I, in exile in Madeira. It is also nearby this church that the famous toboggans usually wait for their clients. The descent is an adventure not to be missed. Ernest Hemingway described it as “One of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.”