5 good reasons to visit Museums in Madeira
Museums are a big part of Madeira’s Heritage.
Curious to know were we came from and who we are?
Here are 5 good Reasons to get you started …
1. Discover the amazing old manor houses of Madeira ‘Quintas’
Museum Quinta das Cruzes
This was once the house of the governor of Funchal, João Gonçalves da Câmara, the son of Zarco. In its gardens you can admire a stunning Manueline style window, a greenhouse of orchids and an “orquestrofone”, a wooden music instrument, which was manufactured by Limonaire Frères in France in 1900. Inside the house “Quinta” there’s a decorative arts museum with a stunning collection of ancient furniture, paintings and other unique pieces of art.
Monte Palace Museum
Located in the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, this used to be a popular hotel in the XX century under the name of Monte Palace Hotel. Besides the romantic gardens, you’ll find a Museum with a large collection of minerals, including diamonds, sculptures from Zimbabwe and tiles, from Hispano-Moorish to contemporary panels, related to Portuguese history.
2. Get to know famous Madeirans and the stories of their lives
Casa Frederico de Freitas Museum
This house was known a ‘Casa da Calçada’ and used to be the house of the madeiran art collector Dr. Frederico de Freitas. It has a romantic architecture and presents a huge collection of tiles, ceramics, sculpture and paintings. It’s interiors are decorated with neo-classic and Art Nouveau furniture. In its gardens you can also see a little house “Casa de Prazeres”, which was kind of a hidden retreat, typically found in the XVIII century noble houses in Madeira.
This museum tells the story of the world famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo. You can see the iconic photographs of his career, videos, a wax statue and his three Golden Balls!
Universo de Memorias – JC Abreu
This beautiful house-museum displays an interesting travel collection donated to Madeira, by the former Regional Secretary of Tourism and Culture of Madeira João Carlos Abreu, exhibiting his personal style and travel stories. There’s also a lovely tea house in the garden.
3. Admire an impressive range of art, from the XVIth century till modern days.
Museum Henrique and Francisco Franco
Although this museum is small in its size, I love the collection of prints, drawings and sculptures made by the madeiran brothers Henrique and Francisco Franco, in the XIX-XX centuries.
Price: 3,86 €
Museum of Sacred Art
Admire an impressive collection of Flemish paintings from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Some of the paintings are huge and painted in both sides, front and back cover. There are also displays of stunning religious sculpture and sacred jewelery. A treasure!
Casa das Mudas
Magnificently designed by the Madeiran architect Paulo David, this Museum of Contemporary Art, was internationally awarded for its architecture and perfect symbiosis with the surroundings. Here you can find several modern art exhibitions and occasional live performances.
4. Learn about the history of the Island.
The Electricity Museum
This museum displays rare machinery and electricity equipment including Funchal’s evolution since the earliest examples of oil lamps up to today. You’ll also find a tridimensional model of Madeira summarizing its gradual electrification throughout the years, the different types of renewable energies, as well as an interactive area. Interesting and fun!
Madeira Story Centre
This Museum tells the story of Madeira through exhibits of historical objects as well as interactive multimedia equipment. The restaurant in the terrace has a beautiful view over Funchal.
Price: 5 €
Volcanism Centre of São Vicente
Learn about the volcanic history of Madeira. In this centre you can walk along lava caves formed around 890 000 years ago. There are audiovisual displays recreating the geological evolution, the eruption of a volcano and the birth simulation of the Island.
5. Taste the famous Madeiran Wine and traditional “Poncha” made of rum.
Madeira Wine Museum
This museum is located in the oldest wine cellars of Madeira. “The Old Blandy Wine Lodges” are located in the remaining part of São Francisco Convent, demolished in the XIXth century. Besides the warehouses and the exhibition area, there are tasting rooms where you can enjoy the different types of Madeira Wine; Sercial, Malvasia, Verdelho and Boal. Price: 4,20 €
Companhia dos Engenhos do Norte
This is one of the oldest Sugar Canes Mills in Europe! From the distillation of sugarcane you can taste the rum that makes the famous drink “Poncha”. Although it operates only two months a year, it can be visited all year. Price: Free
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