Destinations

Free day in Funchal?

While in Madeira for the congress of the ICCA's Iberian Chapter we had a free afternoon and decided to explore the centre of Funchal.

While in Madeira for the congress of the Iberian Chapter of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) we had a free afternoon and decided to explore the centre of Funchal. Here are some suggestions.

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Farmers Market (Mercado dos Lavradores)

Although it is a tourist area today, the Farmers Market is well worth a visit. It is truly stimulant to the senses, with vibrant colours, diversified aromas and fresh flavours, some known, others more exotic. On the two floors of the building you can find flowers, fruits, vegetables, but also fresh fish caught off the island of Madeira and meat. This market, right in the centre of Funchal, was inaugurated on November 24th, 1940. Adorning the entrance there are tile panels of Batisttini Faience by Maria de Portugal. Many of the saleswomen are dressed in the typical Madeiran costume.

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Open door art in downtown streets

Right next to the Farmers Market, there is Rua de Santa Maria, which was another surprise we found in Funchal. The street, which was degraded a few years ago, was improved by the Arte das Portas Abertas (Open door art) project. "These doors are abandoned shops, ruined spaces that now have taken on a new life, with the aim of sensitising the population, filling the avenues of cultural and artistic events," reads on the program's website. After that, other related arteries were targets of regenerative art. The first door to be painted on Santa Maria Street was number 77, on April 6th, 2011, by artist Mark Milewski. Following this project, several bars, restaurants, hostels and galleries came to life on this street.

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Funchal Cathedral (Sé Catedral)

The beginning of the construction of Funchal Cathedral dates from 1493 and was commissioned to be built by D. Manuel I. The temple highlights are the main chapel altarpiece and the processional cross offered by this king, the cross featuring as a Manueline goldsmithery masterpiece. The church ceiling is equally interesting. During the Discoveries, Funchal diocese was for some years, and in extension, the largest Catholic diocese in the world, covering all discovered territories.

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College Church (Igreja do Colégio)

The St. John the Evangelist Church in Funchal College is one of the most interesting temples in the city, and marks the transition from international mannerism to Portuguese Baroque. The work is of the Jesuits and dates from the seventeenth century. The square where the Church is situated is itself a beautiful place to relax.

 

Tags: Destination, Madeira

12-05-2017