"I am Santa Cruz: a lively place for land and border of an ocean that is sound, music, vertigo, vision, dream and battle."

Highlights

When the discoverer of Madeira, João Gonçalves Zarco, went through a "valley of beautiful grove" on July 3, 1419 or 1420, he found old cedars fallen by the time with which he ordered to make a cross, baptizing the place of Santa Cruz.
On May 8, 1440 Tristan "from the Island" was given the Captaincy of Machico. Infante D. Henrique Regidor of the Order of Christ specifies that "I carry Tristão, knight of my House, of my Island of Madeira from the land from beyond the Ribeira do Caniço ten steps, as it goes through the Ribeira above, and thence cross the mountain to the tip of Tristan ". Therefore, the Captaincy extended from Ponta da Oliveira (in Caniço) to Ponta de S. Lourenço and from there to Ponta do Tristão (in Porto Moniz), which later connected to Ponta da Oliveira, dividing the island diagonally. As is understood, by this division, Santa Cruz belonged thus to the old Captaincy of Machico.
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Santa Cruz already eqautes with the village of Machico, from which it depended administratively, having more population and commerce, even having a customs office for the lucrative "sugar deal".
In this trade, the following stand out: Urbano Lomelino, who settled in Porto do Seixo, having a house and a mill, and later, by pious testamentary disposition, he founded the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy of Santa Cruz; or Nuno Fernandes Cardoso, who settled in Gaula, poissessing Solar and Chapel of St. John Lateran, and also the Salvago family, with the sisters Isabel and Leonor Álvares, who will establish the Chapel of the Mother of God in Caniço.
Due to the mismanagement of Machico by Captain-Donate Tristan Vaz, and to the growth of Santa Cruz, the powerful Freitas of Santa Cruz will press the monarch to grant a charter to the locality, which in fact will end up happening on June 26 of 1515, with the creation of the Village and, on December 15 of the same year, obtaining the respective charter.
The area of this new county was dismembered from Machico from Porto do Seixo until the end of Caniço.
Behind this breakdown is the influential João de Freitas, who returned in 1511 from North Africa, where he fought valiantly against the Moors, was a squire and a man of confidence of King Manuel I and for that reason he receives the Treasury of the area of Santa Cruz. It is he indeed, who will persuade the monarch to give the status of municipality to the said locality and it is even in his own houses, where the first town council is gathered.
If in the first year the new chamber worked in the houses of the "patron", the following year, it was already functioning in its own house, with a gothic portal with a broken arch and twinned windows, a building that has reached our days and where the town council still operates.
The new church Igreja Matriz de Santa Cruz, with three naves, similar to the Cathedral of Funchal, is practically the second church of the island, having been built by João de Freitas, replacing the small and run-down old chapel of Bom Jesus, which served as a parish church, of which today only the toponym remains. In 1533 it would be ready, when João de Freitas was authorized to be buried in the main chapel. His tomb of Flemish taste, with brass blades edging the lid, can still be seen today in that chapel of the Matrix Church.
The municipality was essentially agricultural, with its poios, cultivated terraces, artistically cultivated and irrigated by serpentine water channels, standing out still today the production of onion in Caniço and the cultivation and industry of the wicker in Camacha.
In the parish of Caniço the tourism industry developed starting from the 70's taking advantage of the beautiful sea front, the tranquility, the mild climate and the proximity of Funchal.

Upcoming Events

CARNIVAL

SANTA CRUZ

FEBRUAR 23 - 31

In Santa Cruz, the carnival celebrations are present in all parishes of the county, with several parades that involve hundreds of participants from all age groups. In the parish of Santo António da Serra is celebrated the 'Burial of the Bone', the traditional closing of the Madeiran Carnival, on the Sunday following the day of Carnival.

THE VOICE OF SANTA CRUZ

SANTA CRUZ

MARCH - JUNE

Running since 2015, The Voice of Santa Cruz intends to make known the musical talents of Santacruzenses. This talent contest consists of three categories: children, youth and adults, with an initial casting and festive ceremonies called galas, in the five parishes of the county.

The grand final party of The Voice of Santa Cruz is part of the SantaFaz (County Parties) event that will take place in June in the city of Santa Cruz.

Earth Hour

SANTA CRUZ

MARCH 28th

In partnership with the SPEA-Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds, the Municipality of Santa Cruz joins the WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature and promotes Earth Hour, which is an event that takes place in the gardens of the House of Culture of Santa Cruz, and seeks to make the population aware of the importance of preserving our planet by adopting sustainable habits. The event counts on the participation of some artists, workshops and stalls of organic food and handmade jewelry, as it happens in several cities spread all over the world; this event also counts on the blackout, that takes place during about 1 hour in the streets of the center of the City of Santa Cruz.

Visit Santa Cruz and share your images on social media with  #santacruzmadeira

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This platform gathers historical, tourist and cultural information about the Municipality of SANTA CRUZ - Madeira Island, Portugal

© 2020 by CMSC | Text collection and editing: Gabinete de Turismo | Translation: Leonilde Olim | Photography: CMSC (copyright)