Monte

Funchal

Information

Monte is a lovely place in Funchal, on the wonderful Madeira Island, and one of the most pleasant, noble and famous spots in the Island.
Towering over the central historical nucleus of Funchal, at about 550 meter above the ocean, with a luxuriant vegetation which leads to the epithet “Madeira’s Sintra”, Monte is a noble place, chosen by the rich classes to build their Palaces and Estates.

Developed around the Nossa Senhora do Monte Chapel, that named the locality, Monte grew mostly after the railway and lift construction, nowadays reborn with the Cable Car inauguration.
Land of great beauty and nobility, Monte has much to offer, since reinvigorating walks to the access to the famous “levadas” (small water channels) that show off the inner and true Madeira essence, and also a rich and proud heritage. The Nossa Senhora do Monte Church rises up in top of the imponent stairway, along with other Chapels such as the ones of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Nossa Senhora da Paz, Nossa Senhora do Desterro, dos Santos Reis or the Menino Chapels or even the Nossa Senhora do Livramento Church.

It is worth to appreciate the luxuriant nature of the Monte, as in the Municipal Park (also known as Leite Monteiro Park), or in the amazing Botanical Garden or in the Tropical Garden Monte Palace or even on the Jardins do Imperador Estate, where once the Emperor Carlos of Austria, lived.
Not to be missed are the Celebrations in honour to Nossa Senhora do Monte that take place every 15th of August, when the “regretful” climb the 74 steps of the big stairway on their knees and all the settlement is properly decorated for the great popular dance and the religious ceremonies.

Another of the Monte’s greatest highlights is the “carro de cesto” or “tobogã”: wickerwork sledges pushed by two “carreiros“, or sledge drivers, that slide on wooden runners for about 4 km down a steep hill, heading to Funchal city centre. The carreiros use strong ropes to help sliding the steep paved hill of the ancient inclined road that linked the upper Monte to the Funchal centre, using their own boots as brakes.

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