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The building of the Town Hall was acquired by João de Freitas in 1516, with the purpose of installing there Santa Cruz Municipal Council. This decision was taken after the elevation of village to County, which occurred in 1515. It is estimated that this building was built in the first decades of the sixteenth century, and later in the twentieth century, underwent an expansion and rehabilitation with the design of the architect Luís da Conceição Teixeira, which was inspired by the common characteristics to the public buildings of the New state.
In the exterior stands out the door in a broken arch of two colonnades and two archivolts, topped by the royal arms of D. Manuel. Also noteworthy are the Manueline style windows with only one colonnade and one archivolt.
In the interior it is possible to contemplate a painting allusive to the economic and cultural activities of the Municipality, by Teresa Brazão, the masonry ceiling of the Noble Hall and the Manueline regal heraldry, which was once placed in the center of the ceiling, is currently on a side wall.
This building is the only one with the status of a National Monument existing in the Municipality, because it is the only Chamber on Madeira Island that has maintained its headquarters since the 16th century, and also because it is one of the rare examples at the national level.

Address | Praça Dr. João Abel de Freitas - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates32°41'17.0"N 16°47'32.1"W

House of Culture of Santa Cruz | Quinta do Revoredo


The building where the House of Culture of Santa Cruz is today was built in 1840 by the English entrepreneur and Madeira wine merchant, John Blandy, with the intention of being the summer residence of his family. Later on his grandson Charles Frederick Raleigh Blandy decided to settle here; he was a naval engineer, born in Funchal in 1846, who never hid his special affection for Santa Cruz, helped many local families and in 1903 offered a watch to the Municipal Council, that was placed in the tower of the Mother Church, where still today is. At an advanced stage of his life, at the end of the 19th century, he dedicated himself to watercolor painting of natural landscapes of the Island of Madeira. These Paintings are currently in the Museum of Natural History of Funchal. His painting and photography studio worked in a space attached to the Quinta, where today the Municipal Library is located.
This property was purchased and restored by the city council in 1988 to serve as Cultural House, witch opened on December 6, 1993. It has large exhibition rooms, a kitchen, a documentation room, Educational Service area in the basement and, at the back, a pleasant open-air auditorium. It has two floors and a small tower built during the restoration work. All spans display simple frames made with hard, regional stonework and the windows have the characteristic tapassóis (sunblinds) typical from Madeira, with sash windows. The floor and the stairs are in original wooden cone and the ceilings have stucco designs according to era. One of the rooms has a fireplace, English taste. In the past, access to the house was also made through the door facing the sea, on the lower floor, where there was a small pier for landing boats.
The pleasant garden is paved in traditional Madeiran’s cobbled sidewalk, using pebblestones from the sea. It has many centuries-old indigenous trees, such as dragon trees (Dracaena draco), tildes (Ocotea foetens) and other large exotic trees of great botanical and ornamental value. In this space, there are also two sculptures: the Florist of the Peruvian sculptor Mário Agostinelli, in bronze from 1972, and the sculpture in two shades of stonework by the sculptor António Rodrigues from 1997.
In a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional Portuguese tile art, the backrests of the benches on the south wall were covered with Works of the artists Alexandra Carvalho, António Rodrigues, Cristiana Sousa, Helena Sousa, Patrícia Sumares, Sílvio Cró and Trindade Vieira, from 2015 to 2020.
The name "Revoredo" is a clear allusion to the existence of large trees in the estate gardens.

AddressRua Bela de São José - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates32°41'17.7"N 16°47'20.3"W

Desert Islands


The Desert Islands Natural Reserve is located southeast of Madeira Island and consists of three islands: Ilhéu Chão, Deserta Grande and Bugio.
The Ilhéu Chão is the smallest island in this group, while the Deserta Grande, as the name indicates, is the most extensive island with about 1,700 meters in length and 1900 meters in width. The Bugio is about 7500 meters long, being an island characterized by its arched shape.
In addition to this group of islands of volcanic origin, this nature reserve includes a group of adjacent islets and an entire marine area.
The fact that there is a small group of sea lions in the Desert Islands, caused that in 1990 this group of islands was legally protected and a Special Protection Area was created. In the 1980s, there were only 6 to 8 animals of this species. Currently, the number has been increasing and it is estimated that there are close to 40 sea lions. Contrary to what has been happening in the other distribution areas of sea lions, only in the Desertas Islands Natural Reserve is a growth of this endangered species.
Although administratively they belong to the Municipality of Santa Cruz, the Natural Park of Madeira is the entity responsible for its management. These islands have a permanent vigilance, provided by the Corps of Nature Watchers.
The Desert Islands Natural Reserve also has several rare and endemic species that can be visited through the tourist boats that provide the maritime transport between the Island of Madeira (departure from Funchal) and the Desert Islands, and a guided tour in this Natural Reserve.

Address | Ilhas Desertas, Madeira

GPS coordinates | 32°31'19.7"N 16°30'46.3"W

Church of Santo António da Serra

7santo da serra.jpg

This church, to the taste of the late mannerism already of the middle of the century XIX, of a single nave, presents on the facade a portal of regional gray stonework, in a perfect back arch, surmounted by a rectangular window.
The chancel was built at the expense of the Public Treasury, and the church's body was erected thanks to the valuable contribution of the American Consul John Howard March.

The nave of the church presents a tile coating of neo-rococo grammar, that narrate the life of the patron saint. In the main chapel we can see an altarpiece, of false architecture, neo-baroque, in blue and white tiles, with notes in yellow, all carried out in the year 2000.

Address | Largo de Santo António da Serra - Santo António da Serra

GPS coordinates | 32°43'29.0"N 16°49'10.7"W

Igreja do Salvador / Church of The Savior


The Matriz church of Santa Cruz is dedicated to San Salvador and it is estimated that its construction dates back to 1533. Built in the likeness of the Cathedral of Funchal, it is a Manueline / Late Gothic style church with plant of three naves.
His design is attributed to the architect Diogo Boitaca, author of several emblematic monuments in Portugal, such as the Tower of Belém, Jerónimos Monastery and the "imperfect chapels" of the Monastery of Batalha. The church of Salvador was built by D. Manuel, at the request of João de Freitas, who was faced with the fact that the local population was increasing and the existing church could no longer house all the devotees.
The main facade has an axial portal of broken arch of three columns and three archivolts, surmounted by a rosette of the 60s of the 20th century. This façade is finished in a gable of concave cornice with spheres, is finished by wedges in stonework and displays two pseudo-abutments, leaked with broken arcs, that are estimated to date from century XVIII. The side door is also ogival, with vegetal capitals, facing the Madeirian sidewalk of the churchyard. The interior of the church, as previously mentioned, has three naves of five sections, illuminated by cracks of broken arches in regional stonework, with hexagonal pillars of quadrangular capitals, and the extreme arches are being supported by torsal corbels. The pulpit is in a column, having wooden canopy and stairs in regional stonework.
In the side nave of the church is the tomb of the Spínola family and the chapel of St. James, nowadays called Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, which is torn in full arch with colonnades of vegetal capitals and topped by the Morais family cannons. In the lateral nave on the side of the Epistle, there is the altar of Our Lady of the Conception, in blue, white and gold carving, as well as the Chapel of Souls, torn in a perfect back arch from the 17th century.
In the main chapel is the tombstone of João de Freitas, of Flemish taste, with brass surround. In the north wall, there is a broken portal for access to the sacristy, twinned with multi-lobed arches with eyepiece on the tympanum, discovered in the 60s of the 20th century. Still in the main chapel, besides the renaissance, Italianate paintings of the Portuguese workshop, one observes the late-baroque altarpiece of gold and white carving with central dressing room.

Address | Rua Irmã Wilson nº 1  - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates | 32°41'17.9"N 16°47'33.5"W

Main Church of Caniço


The Main Church of Caniço was built in the 18th century, after a heated discussion about which side of the Ribeira (river) would remain this church. On the Machico side, there was the church dedicated to Santo Antão, and on the Funchal side, another church, dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Since the devotees could not agree on which side the new church would be located, Father José Lomelino Barreto solved the matter and offered the land on the side of Funchal, where it was stipulated that there would be built the future Matriz Church of Caniço, dedicated to Santo Antão.
This temple, formed by a rectangular plan of single nave, was inaugurated in 1783 and presents the transition between the Baroque and Rococo. The main façade, of Mannerist and contained language, is delimited by pilasters, tearing a portal of masonry with arch full surmounted by inscription allusive to the construction and consecration of the temple in stonework of Porto Santo. The nave is illuminated by three windows in which the central is composed of real weapons, also in stonework of Porto Santo island.
In the interior of the church stand out the lateral altarpieces of white and gold carving of rococo style, and the collateral retables by the Madeirian painter Nicolau Ferreira.
In the main chapel, with deep dressing room and pairs of torsal columns, the hovel which decorates the side walls is folded, covered by a cradle vault with painted stucco notes. The sacristy houses a tablet of Santo Antão of century XVI, that probably came from the previous ruined chapel. An interesting canvas of the Immaculate Conception with the donors (1646), written by the painter Martim Conrado, from the Chapel of Salvation in Caniço, is today on the wall of the Main Chapel on the side of the epistle.
The churchyard is a very characteristic space because it is constituted by traditional Madeirian sidewalk in rolled stone, which is composed of different designs. The white stone comes from the island of Porto Santo.

Address | Rua João Paulo II nº 12 -Caniço

GPS coordinates32°39'07.1"N 16°50'24.4"W

Santa Cruz Market | Mercado de Santa Cruz


Built in the old fish market of São Pedro, the Municipal Market of Santa Cruz was inaugurated in 1962 and was designed by the architect Luís Conceição Teixeira, who was based on a modernist architectural style, being the only building that presents this type of architecture in the county. This rectangular plan design, consisting of four entrances, has a cover composed of concrete slab with inverted slope, creating the shape of wings of a butterfly, influenced by Brazilian modernism.
In the main entrance to the north there are two ceramic panels, created by the prestigious artist António Aragão, who try to portray two very typical activities of the region: fishing and agriculture. It is a modernist composition, with stylization and geometrization of bodies and landscape, which exalts reality, not by copying but by free recreation.
The interior of the market is made up of different areas of sale of agricultural products, the fish market and small shops of regional items. On the interior walls are two pictorian panels from the eighties, by the painter Teresa Brazão, which represent scenes of the market and episodes of economic and cultural activities of the island. One of the panels was rehabilitated and reinterpreted in 2017 by the artist Cristiana de Sousa.

Address | Rua Da Praia - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates | 32°41'16.2"N 16°47'26.6"W

Holy House of Mercy | Santa Casa da Misericórdia


The Holy House of Mercy of Santa Cruz was erected in 1530. However, from its primitive construction, only the portal in a broken arch of a single column and a single archivolt should remain, in a regional stonework of the Visitation Chapel of Santa Isabel. From the nascent side, a simple ceiling of Mudejar style or already probable revivalist copy and still some elements, like Manueline lintels used, and recently uncovered.
This building has suffered through the ages several works, currently featuring characteristics of the 17th and 18th century, in Mannerist language (Chão Style), where there are high windows with a balcony facing them, in wrought iron from the 19th century and two interesting doors with stacked jambs hinged to the windows, where the cornice in rebound corresponds to balconies in balconies with guards of iron plums.
The chapel was founded by André Gonçalves, merchant and resident of Santa Cruz, in 1562. The present chapel of Santa Isabel, dating from the end of the 18th century, presents the floor with slabs in rough stone, a a marbled, perfect back arch and the high altar of a late-baroque altarpiece, in a gilt carving, in stucco, with a central screen from 1790, alluding to the Visitation of the Madeiran painter Nicolau Ferreira. In addition to the chapel, this building housed wards, a pharmacy (the only one outside of Funchal), disinfection rooms and a mortuary, which made Misericórdia hospital one of the most important hospitals outside Funchal at that time. At the end of the nineteenth century, the British Mary Jane Wilson rehabilitated the old Mercy, which at the time was already in ruins, voted to abandon and in an advanced state of degradation.
At the beginning of the year 2000, the building underwent a global rehabilitation and expansion project by the architect Victor Mestre, hosting a Day Center and a Third Age Home, on the west side, and on the nascent side the Parish House.

Address | Rua Irmã Wilson - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates | 32°41'18.1"N 16°47'34.2"W

Municipal Court of Santa Cruz


The Court of Santa Cruz was inaugurated in 1932 with the purpose of replacing the old Santa Cruz City Hall, which at the beginning of the 20th century had been the subject of a serious fire, in which many documents of extreme importance were lost. However in 1978 the Town Hall building was rehabilitated and the county services returned to the original building. Currently, the building of the Municipal Court of Santa Cruz also houses the command of the Public Security Police, the Parish Council of Santa Cruz and the Water Division of the Municipal Council.
Of eclectic language this building follows a neoclassical style, present by the symmetry, by the rhythmic spans and by the guards of the balconies with balusters. The entrance of the building is made through a scenic staircase, which gives access to the main entrance of the building, composed of a fluted portal, topped by a triangular pediment. The Mannerist windows have mortar molds in rebound, of high lintels crossed by intermediary fillets surveyed and surmounted by cornices. The building is surrounded by stunning gardens, made up of exotic tree species and paths covered by the traditional Madeirian sidewalk.

Address | Rua Bela de São José - Santa Cruz

GPS coordinates | 32°41'19.5"N 16°47'25.4"W

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