Funchal: Santa Clara Monastery, Quinta das Cruzes Museum and more
Hello from Funchal! Today, we will visit the historic heart of this city. First, let’s have a look at Funchal around three centuries ago:
Here is the same area today from that same fort, called the Fortress of São João Baptista:
The Portuguese Prince Henry “the Navigator” sent João Gonçalves Zarco to the islands of Madeira. Zarco landed on the island of Porto Santo in 1420 and claimed Madeira for Portugal. He was appointed first captain of Funchal also by Henry “the Navigator.”
One of the most impressive early estates in Funchal is Quinta das Cruzes, originally built by Captain Zarco. Later this elegant home belonged to the Lomelino family and today it is one of Funchal’s best museums.
The church beside the gardens of Quinta das Cruzes was also commissioned by Captain Zarco in the 15th century. Later, the church became part of the Santa Clara monastery.
The tombs of João Gonçalves Zarco and his family (wife, son, daughter and son-in-law) are inside the church, in front of the altar.
At noon, we took a break in a very cute tea house in front of the Quinta das Cruzes Museum.
Funchal had three forts for protection mainly from the constant attacks of the pirates. The Fortress of São João Baptista is located on a higher elevation and offers amazing views of the city.
I would like to finish this post with two Madeiran dishes. Crab soup:
Fish fillets with a banana: