Famous for being one of the most beautiful in the world, the Madeira Archipelago is full of attractions for all tourist profiles. The region was discovered by the Portuguese in the XV century, a legacy that was registered in several points as monuments, museums, forts and churches.
To get to know this fabulous destination better, a tour of the sights with historical bias is a fundamental part of a good itinerary. Discover to follow the main places to discover a historical Madeira Island.
Starting at the capital, Funchal, the emblematic Jesuit College is a must-see. Built to propagate the Christian faith, the building had several functions for 400 years. Currently, he is a member of the Academic Association of the University of Madeira and offers free guided tours for tourists, as well as music, performances and exhibitions.
The historical center of Funchal, known as “Zona Velha”, is full of surprises. Cradle of Portuguese occupation in the region, its narrow streets and old houses have great architectural value. In the heart of the Old Zone is the Chapel of the Holy Body, a construction that resists time. Take the opportunity to visit the shops and taste the typical delights, since this stretch of the city has great options of restaurants and shopping, as well as the design of the painted doors, an open-air art gallery.
Another interesting feature of the island are the buildings of the forts facing the Atlantic Ocean. The Fortaleza de S. Tiago, located on the seafront of the historic center, has a restaurant overlooking the sea. Take the opportunity to visit the Fort of São João Baptista in Funchal; the Fort of S. Fernando, in Santa Cruz; and the São Bento Fort, in Ribeira Brava.
Museums are also a great choice for those wishing to delve into the history of the archipelago. The Museum of the Crosses, for example, is housed in an old house that belonged to the family of the first captains responsible for the territory at the time of colonization. The Museum of Sacred Art, with its large Flemish paintings, refers to the golden age of sugar production in the region.
Do not miss the Frederico de Freitas House Museum, owned by a former Madeiran collector, and the Henrique and Francisco Franco Museum, renowned artists of the 20th century with works that include engravings, drawings, sculptures and oil paintings.
In Porto Santo, the other inhabited island of the archipelago, it is possible to visit the former residence of the explorer Christopher Columbus transformed into a museum. The environment recreates in detail the house where the discoverer lived, containing portraits, maps and other items from the time of navigation.
Photo: Press Release