Discovering the Universe of Memories of João Carlos Abreu
Life is made of memories, as evidenced by the Universe of Madeiran João Carlos Abreu.
This museum is located in São Pedro, in a palace from the 19th century. It also has a beautiful garden and a friendly tea house with delicious cakes and homemade teas.
It houses the memories of João Carlos Abreu, journalist, traveler, poet, writer, politician, actor, artist and also former regional director of tourism of Madeira with passage through several countries of the world. He was awarded multiple awards in the areas of tourism and culture. Events such as the Flor Festival, Wine Festival, Carnival Parade, New Year’s Festival and Atlantic Festival are part of its initiative. He has published hundreds of chronicles, two Madeira tourist guides, ten poetry books and six prose books. He is currently engaged in writing, theater, travel, painting and humanitarian causes.
The variety of objects, jewels, clothing, furniture, paintings, statues and passports is breathtaking, the result of an intense, rich and challenging life, built from travel stories. A special mention goes to Rome (where he studied and was a Vatican journalist).
It is not just ties and horses, there is much more to discover and a visit is not enough … There are about 14,000 pieces donated to this monument, all of them acquired by João Carlos Abreu, himself. All the visits are guided and have the approximate duration of an hour that runs by so quickly. There is so much to see and tell …
Let’s start with the palace. It was built by Simão Francisco, illegitimate son of a noblewoman who lived where today the museum of the Cruzes is located. Simão Francisco lived in São Martinho, Funchal with an nanny and visited frequentedly this street. He emigrated to British Guiana where he was a wood dealer. In the nineteenth century he returned to Madeira and built this palace inspired by several styles, namely the Victorian. Its taste for the woods is visible, since each room has a different style, with a wood floor of satin and sucupira. This house also passed by the Faria families and the doctor Dr. Nuno Porto, in the years of 70 to 90.
We started by the entrance and library. With 53 Neapolitan terra cotta shepherds purchased on several visits to Naples, a Victorian clock that is a beauty and a stereo viewfinder that blends 2 photographs in a single image.
He inherited from his mother the taste for jewels, an exquisite sensibility, visible in these true works of art.
In the library, I discovered the history and typewriter of Gustaf Grundgens, one of the most well-known German actors of the 20th century, who had a vacation home in Madeira. He described the island as his ” necessary stop in this hectic life.”
This is my favourite horse made of several human figures.
And he considers himself truly addicted to ties, which he chooses for his colors and originality. He has over 1000!
The horse painted by several artists residing in Madeira, among them Carla Cabral and Marcos Milewski.
Just like in real life, we can not rearrange our memories, in one division, our memories mingle to make the life that we are made of.
This site also has a surprising range of educational services, with activities that last from 45 minutes to 1h30m, the latter based on the national reading plan.
From pre-school to 4th year of schooling, many activities are proposed, from a walk through the house with binoculars to discover animals that inhabit it or the musical instruments of this collection, wind instruments, turntables, telephony among others. Thematic dates are also celebrated with strictly focused activities for parents and children. They also have some activities in English.
The visits can be marked through the email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 291225122, or via www.facebook.com/universomemorias
Normal ticket – € 3.50 Children up to 14 years old – Free
Retired, youth card and students – € 2 Group ticket (minimum of 6 people) – € 2
Location: Calçada do Pico nº 2 e 4, parish of São Pedro, Municipality of Funchal
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Closed on weekends and Holidays *
* Schedule group visits on weekends and holidays
My best thanks to Dra. Sílvia Chícharo, director of the Universe of Memories João Carlos Abreu, and to all her wonderful team, for all the collaboration.
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