Classified as a National Monument since 1910, Funchal Cathedral occupies a central place in the History, geography and life of the city. It is the main religious church of the Madeira archipelago, widely admired for its incomparable historical, architectural and artistic value.
This monument was first built by order of King D. João II in 1493. Completed by the early 16th century, it displays characteristic stylistic features of the Manueline and Gothic periods. Its façade, for example, presents a Gothic portal of great magnificence, composed of stonework from Cabo Girão, with eight archivolts in a pointed arch.
Inside Funchal Cathedral, attention is immediately drawn to the altarpiece. Surmounted by a Gothic canopy, it is a large polyptych, in gilded woodcarving, complemented by sculptures and oil paintings on wood. The ceiling also warrants a close look. Worked in cedar from the island, it is a monumental example of Mudéjar decoration (alfarje ceilings, from the Islamic artistic tradition).
However, the artistic heritage of Funchal Cathedral does not stop there. In addition to the elaborate chancel chair in the main chapel, this monument houses a processional cross considered to be one of the masterpieces of Portuguese Manueline jewellery.
Funchal Cathedral, in the city's historic centre, displays features of the Manueline and Gothic periods and is the main religious church in Madeira, with a heritage of unequalled value.