IN THE HEART OF THE CITY
At the beginning of the 15th century João Gonçalves Zarco discovered the Island of Madeira. Here was found a bay covered with fennel, which he named Funchal. In the following centuries Funchal became the political core of the archipelago.
The historical centre of Funchal is made up of 3 major historical cores, the Cathedral and the parishes of Santa Maria Maior and São Pedro, through which we have guided tours.
In front of the Cathedral is the old Public Walk, currently Arriaga Avenue, which lies in between the City Square, Farmers’ Market and the bay of Funchal. These are part of the second parish which became the urban centre of Funchal in the 16th century.
The parish of Santa Maria Maior, also known as Zona Velha, is the primitive medieval borough where the settlement of Funchal began in the 15th century.
The parish of São Pedro contains mostly buildings constructed during the late 16th century. Amongst them is the College of Saint John the Evangelist, the Jesuits’ College. Today, this building is the Administration of the University of Madeira.
Whilst walking along these ancient and modern streets we tell the stories surrounding the places and people who lived in Funchal, those who made it the cosmopolitan city that it is today.