21 Oct 2021
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Historical Framing - Sé Print E-mail

Although the Madeiran Archipelago was discovered in 1419, its settlement process only began in 1425.
The first inhabited area of the City of Funchal was Santa Maria, located East of the torrent João Gomes.

 
Sé Sé
 
 
 
At the end of 16th century and middle of 17th century, the city had its centre in Largo do Pelourinho and carried on through Rua Direita. Here was the most central point.
As time went by, the city developed west with the centre moving westwards of Ribeira de Santa Luzia, in the area of the Cathedral.
As D. Manuel presided over the administration of the Order of Christ, the boundaries of the so-called Campo do Duque were determined in 1485, where the first experiments occurred to acclimatise rhizomes of sugar canes brought from Sicily at the time of Prince Henry the Navigator.
The first buildings in the old Campo do Duque, which begun around 1486, were the houses of the Town Hall with the palace of the public notaries and the audience rooms. Two years later, the work in the Customs houses and the Church began. The Church was dedicated to the Cathedral in 1514.
There are no doubts about the intentions of D. Manuel to build a new city. For that reason, he sent to the Island personal of his own trust and with a clearly defined direction.
It was in this area, west of Ribeira de Santa Luzia, and throughout the 16th century that the main governmental administrations arrived.
Between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century several buildings were built including: Paço Episcopal, the Jesuits Seminary and School, as well as the new Misericórdia hospital, in the vicinities of the Cathedral.
It was in this area that the main local and foreign traders settled.
D. Manuel carried out important urban decisions for Funchal.
The fortification of the city, due to the intensification of war and piracy attacks, marked its architecture.
With several adaptations throughout more than 400 years, the main official buildings survived until today with exception of the Town Hall demolished at the end of the 19th century.
 
 
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