Funchal Off The Beaten Path

  • Fishing boats in Funchal.
    Fishing boats in Funchal.
    by cachaseiro
  • Down by the fishermans beach in Funchal.
    Down by the fishermans beach in Funchal.
    by cachaseiro
  • Funchal
    Funchal
    by solopes

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Funchal

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    Charles Habsbourgh

    by solopes Updated Oct 9, 2012
    Monte - Funchal

    He was the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, the last King of Bohemia and Croatia, the last King of Galicia and Lodomeria and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

    He was Charles I as Emperor of Austria and Charles IV as King of Hungary from 1916 until 1918.

    Failing to restore the monarchy, he was exiled in Madeira in 1921, where he died a few months later.

    Buried in Monte church, he deserved the beatification by the Catholic Church. His statue stands in front of the church.

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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    Virgin chapel

    by solopes Updated Oct 9, 2012
    Fonte da Virgem - Funchal

    Once upon a time there was a fountain that gave name to the square - Largo da Fonte. One day, in 1896, a big tree felt and destroyed it. In location people decided to build immediately a tiny chapel dedicated to the Holy Virgin, "baptized" "Fonte da Virgem". Despite its modesty, it is a very respected place to locals.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Peace square

    by solopes Updated Oct 6, 2012
    Paz e Liberdade - Funchal

    A modern statue celebrating peace conceived in 1988 by Manuela Aranha, was supposed to be erected in Autonomia square, but hard polemics forced to transfer it two years later to its local place, now called "Praça da Paz (Peace)". To its initial location another statue was transferred from the access to the airport.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Corpo Santo

    by solopes Updated Oct 6, 2012
    Funchal - Madeira

    In the old area of Funchal, this small chapel, whose facade comes from the 15th century, has a few objects and paintings from the foundation to the 17th century. It was built by devotion of local fishermen.

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    Visit the little "Fishermans beach".

    by cachaseiro Written Feb 15, 2012

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    Down by the fishermans beach in Funchal.
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    In the eastern part of Funchal down by the yellow fort you have a tiny little rocky beach that is mostly called the fishermans beach.
    This is a place with a very original and interesting vibe as this is the place where the local fishermen tend to hang out when they are not at sea and you will see them there hanging out and drinking beer and coffee out of their garages while listening to music and discussing the latest football results.
    This is not a tourist spot at all, but a nice little place to go if you want to hang out with some locals that are not working in the tourist industry.

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    • Fishing

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    Quinta das Cruzes Museum - Amazing collection!

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 27, 2007

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    The beautiful museum within the Quinta.
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    The old and historic mansion that holds the collection dates back from the early origins of colonisation and was probably used by the first Donee Generals and their successors as their official residence. The landscaped garden that holds the manor estate spreads over 1 hectare of very valuable land in the centre of Funchal. We were amazed by the beautiful items the Quinta das Cruzes Museum had to offer! When we walked around in our own pace we saw parts of a sunken Dutch sailing ship. Right at that time Mara (the woman who led us in and already understood that we were Dutch) was curious about what some Dutch maps said and Relinde and I were just having fun translating it and talking about it with Mara.

    As a sort of ‘thank you’ Mara gave us a personal guided tour. She showed us the fine collection of silver, filigree and antiques that are the legacy and collection of the private collector César Gomes. After that we saw porcelain, furniture of rare woods, glazed pottery, marble, cutlery and many other household ornaments. Some of the furniture on display are valuable examples of renaissance through to romantic craftsmanship and woodwork: Mara told us all about the cabinets and chests made from the excellent wood caixas de açucár (sugar boxes) found on the island dating from the seventeenth century, Indo-Portuguese desks dating from the sixteenth century and many other English and Portuguese style furniture dating from between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Finally Mara learned us that the museum opened in 1952 as one of the most prestigious and well kept museums of Madeira and we did (and still do) believe her!

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday - 10.00hrs to 12.30hrs and 14.00hrs to 17.30hrs
    Sunday - 10.00hrs to 13.00hrs
    Closed on public holidays

    Address:
    Calcada do Pico 1, Funchal, Madeira 9000, Portugal.

    Directions:
    North West of the city centre.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Cruise

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    Quinta das Cruzes Museum - Several Manueline.

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 27, 2007

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    Relinde in the garden.
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    After we finished our ‘guided’ tour through the museum we went outside to the garden. The weather was great, so we wanted to go outside anyway, but of course we were also interested in the archaeological garden, which was built on the premises with many commemorative tombstones dating from the fifteenth through to the nineteenth centuries supplanted to and preserved by the museum. Walking around we saw a very good example of the classic style of Portuguese coat of arms masonry on the archaeological spread. An unique point of interest for us were the several Manueline (a style of architecture) windows which were embedded into several parts of the garden. We had a nice troll through the garden, enjoying the weather and the surroundings.

    Alongside and in stark contrast to the preservation theme of the museum an orchid garden and nursery presides in operation. We were more than welcome to admire the orchids. Someone that was working there told us about (and showed some) of their methods of cultivation, which are collected and grown from endemic specimens of Madeira. Once again we realized that it is always amazing to chat to the locals in order to get all that extra info which otherwise we never would have known. So finally we can say that Quinta das Cruzes Museum is a beautiful hidden gem to visit with some great people at the scene that made us really feel welcome!

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday - 10.00hrs to 12.30hrs and 14.00hrs to 17.30hrs
    Sunday - 10.00hrs to 13.00hrs
    Closed on public holidays

    Address:
    Calcada do Pico 1, Funchal, Madeira 9000, Portugal.

    Directions:
    North West of the city centre.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Quinta das Cruzes Museum - Donation philanthropist

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 27, 2007

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    Jeroen and Iris at the entrance of the museum.

    Quinta das Cruzes Museum was a place we wanted to visit whenever we would visit the city of Funchal. We read in our travel book that this museum was the former residence of João Gonçalves Zarco, who discovered Madeira in 1419. The museum should house many fine examples of English furniture and China-trade porcelains brought to Madeira by expatriate Englishmen in the 18th century. The surrounding park was of botanical interest and contains a noteworthy collection of orchids. So it was time for us to hike the steep hill towards it and see it for ourselves!

    When we arrived at the beautiful manson we immediately saw why this "Manor Estate of the Crosses" museum is considered one of the most prestigious and well-kept museums of Madeira. Unfortunately we were told that the entrance was free, but that was only for the garden, so we paid about €2,20 per person and walked our way in. We received a small hand-out for our own ‘not guided’ tour and read that “The combined donations of 2 philanthropists reveal a remarkable and awesome collection of some uniquely Madeiran relics and antiques. The collection is exemplary and special in that it helps portray the old Madeiran social life at its best. It educated us to understand the etiquette customs of the 16th through to the 19th centuries on Madeira. It showed us in typical fashion the way any fine lord or gracious nobleman would have lived on the island.” We were the only one present and trully had the time on our hands, just to walk around in our own pace. That was just great!

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday - 10.00hrs to 12.30hrs and 14.00hrs to 17.30hrs
    Sunday - 10.00hrs to 13.00hrs
    Closed on public holidays

    Address:
    Calcada do Pico 1, Funchal, Madeira 9000, Portugal.

    Directions:
    North West of the city centre.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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    Fortaleza do Pico - View over Funchal!

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 26, 2007

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    Relinde is admiring her view over funchal.
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    We almost have forgotten to mention that the entrance is free. But it's not an understatement just to mention that we needed no longer than half an hour up there. Because we were not able to enter Fortaleza do Pico, our main interest went out to the view we had over the city of Funchal. Because of the excellent geographical position of the fortress we had an absolutely unique view. The entrance and the courtyard gave great views over the Atlantic and over Funchal city. We were able to see that the city is situated in an "amphitheatre" like formation. It begins on the beach and rises almost 1200 metres on gentle slopes. It’s probably a shame that the opening hours are from 09:00h till 18:00h, otherwise it would have been some sight to have a look from this spot at Funchal in the dark!

    The courtyard is also used for local festivals and we must say that it is the ideal setting for the these traditional popular religious festivals. These are occasions when music, the chiming of church bells, fireworks and decorations all add to the enthusiasm of the people in celebrating old traditions which have been kept alive. In spite of another strenuous walk back to the centre of the city we were glad that we visited this place.

    Address:
    Calcado do Pico, Funchal.

    Directions:
    The fortess is visible and reachable from Quinta das Cruzes.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Fortaleza do Pico - Baroque gilded carvings.

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 26, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Relinde walking towards the entrance.
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    When the population of Funchal expanded and its trade turned the city into a busy port, it came prone to violent attacks of mostly pirates. Therefore it needed citywalls to protect itself. A number of fortifications were built and one that is still standing in Funchal is Fortaleza do Pico in the west of the city. Like we already said before, it stands at a hill on the far end of a steep climb through narrow streets. After the strenious hike up the hill we arrived at a huge gate, we still weren’t there … we still had some metres to go! (Tip: it's a 40 minutes walk from the citycentre and you'll pass Museu F. de Freitas and Quinta das Cruzes on your way up!). But once we arrived at the actual fortress we found out that the main building was not open to the public. Ghee, we must admid that it was a bit of a disappointment, because we were very curious on seeing this beautiful castle on the inside. But anyway, there was still more than enough to admire at the outside.

    We could enter the rather small courtyard in front of the fortress and have a walk around it. There was also enough room to have a good look at the defensive walls. Right there we read that they started to built this magnificent place in 1622 and the first parts of Fortaleza do Pico (mainly the defence walls) were finished in 1632. The castle itself lasted a bit longer, because of the Spanish intermezzo, untill 1640. The main building has some beautiful tiles and Baroque gilded carvings, both of the 17th century.

    Address:
    Calcado do Pico, Funchal.

    Directions:
    The fortess is visible and reachable from Quinta das Cruzes.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Fortaleza do Pico - Situated at a mountain.

    by Jerelis Updated Jul 26, 2007

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    Relinde in front of an entrance.
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    Madeira's almost five century old capital is said to have been named "Funchal" because of the abundance of fennel (funcho) that was growing here. We visited the city of Funchal a couple of times and by simply walking over the streets of Funchal we found and saw frequent examples of the wonderful artistic and architectural heritage of the city. Beyond the limits of the city, the roads way up the hills or the small rural towns give evidence of a way of life which is now rare and which has its expressions in the small isolated chapel, in the large manor house, in the fortresses and in the very typical rustic construction.

    We found out that the the entire city can be easily explored by foot and no matter where you start you will find no difficulty in walking into the main city to delight at its sights and sounds. Just by doing this we reach Fortaleza do Pico, also known as Forte de São João Baptista. We must be honest by saying that it's very difficult to miss the Fortaleza do Pico, because this fortress is situated at a mountain that towers about 110 metres above the city. Of course this used to be an excellent point of defence against possible enemies. For us it meant that we had to take a strenuous walk to reach the fortress via the road Calcado do Pico. But it was definately worth it.

    Address:
    Calcado do Pico, Funchal.

    Directions:
    The fortess is visible and reachable from Quinta das Cruzes.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Toyota Showroom

    by sandysmith Updated Jul 24, 2004

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    toyota showroom

    This is not really off the beaten path as its right on the main road going into Funchal but I was surprised to hear that not many people noticed the Toyota car showroom. Whats so special about it - well its all the lovely blue and white tiles decorating its walls - inside and out - depictiing scenes of old Maderian life. Definitely worth a look before you cross the road to Blandy's wine shop and lodge.

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    Santo Antonio Church

    by salinhopt Written Mar 9, 2004

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    Funchal - santo Antonio Church

    The pride of Santo Antonio township, thanks to its size and history. The building dates from 1789 and has six altars. Several structural changes were undertaken between 1922 and 1928. Among these was the installation of a large clock in one of the towers. Nowadays the great clock’s chimes set the rhythm of life for Santo Antonio’s inhabitants.

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    Formosa Beach

    by salinhopt Updated Feb 7, 2004

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    Funchal - Praia Formosa

    The beach Praia Formosa, situated in the capital Funchal, just 10 minutes drive from the city centre, offers visitors three small sandy beaches. In the summer, this beach attracts all kinds of sea and beach lovers, not only because of the sea and the sun, but also because of the sports activities, contests and nightlife that it offers.
    The water quality is certified by the ?Blue Flag? and a team of lifeguards is watching over the safety of the bathers.

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    Wine Museum

    by salinhopt Written Feb 5, 2004

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    Funchal - Madeira Wine Institute

    It's part of the Madeira Wine Institute building, visitors can see here an exhibition of prints, photography, objects and machines picturing the different phases of Madeira wine growing and production.
    The Building has a wonderfull architecture.

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