"I am Santa Cruz: a lively place for land and border of an ocean that is sound, music, vertigo, vision, dream and battle."
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.
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.
CANIÇO - REIS MAGOS
A Feira do Livro de Santa Cruz, que terá a sua terceira edição de 23 a 28 de abril, pretende ser, pela mão da poeta e jornalista, Filipa Leal, um hino à literatura nas suas diversas formas e manifestações. A literatura que se lê, a literatura que se diz, a literatura que se canta, a que se transforma em cinema, a que se desenha. Todas elas contam histórias, todas elas falam de nós e para nós, todas elas giram em redor dessa coisa tão simples e afinal tão extraordinária que é estarmos vivos, estarmos sempre em estado de espanto com o mundo, de sermos uma questão constante, de trazermos em nós uma certa revolução intranquila e, ainda assim, feliz, porque viva.
A nossa convidada deste ano, a poeta Filipa Leal, incorpora na sua poesia tudo isto, porque a sua obra devolve-nos um retrato das nossas inquietações, mas também das pequenas e grandes maravilhas, dos pequenos e grandes desastres, das alegrias, das perdas, das desilusões e novamente da esperança, tornando-os numa espécie de máquina que nos desdobra e que, dessa forma, nos devolve, com eficácia, a nossa própria imagem.
A poesia de Filipa Leal desce a nós para, desse lugar, nos elevar a um ponto mais alto, onde tudo se torna mais nítido e belo, mesmo quando profundamente triste.
É uma poesia do quotidiano, dos dramas de várias gerações, da Europa e da sua desilusão, da guerra, do desemprego, do medo do escuro, do luto, da infância como lugar perene, mas também da alegria e da esperança. Enfim, da vida e de tudo o que ela encerra.
Por isso, e pedindo de empréstimo uma frase do Poema Vem à Quinta Feira, do livro homónimo de Filipa Leal, transformamos “ouvir é a maneira mais pura de calar”, em Cantar é a maneira mais pura de Contar, fazendo desta III Feira do Livro de Santa Cruz o mesmo lugar de espanto e de questionamento da poesia, da literatura, da música, do cinema, da arte em geral como lugar de salvação e revolução.
Uma esperança necessária no ano em que a Revolução de Abril celebra os seus 50 anos, aos quais a Feira do Livro de Santa Cruz se volta a associar, em comemoração, mas também em lucidez e exigência de um tempo melhor.
SANTA CRUZ BLOSSOM
In order to mark the iconic regional poster of the Flower Festival, this event seeks to bring more color and beauty to Santa Cruz, at a time when the city is decorated by allusive scenarios and in honor of the flower. During the month of May the event also has the Santa Cruz in Flower Contest, aimed at the general population to promote the beautification of their gardens, always using natural plants and flowers.
In order to close the event, the streets of the city of Santa Cruz host the allegorical procession “Classics in Bloom by Isabel Borges” that combines classic cars with hundreds of characters parading along the main arteries of downtown.