28 Nov 2021
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Columbus Square Print E-mail

This square occupies an area of the most ancient commercial blocks of the city, which was destroyed by a great fire in the seventies. The fire, which started in the hardware shop 'Casa das Balanças' soon spread to all this area destroying the buildings around, mostly warehouses.

The ruins of those buildings remained there for many years until 1984, when the Borough of Funchal cleared the entire area and implemented a recovery plan. That plan included a square, which would be named after Columbus, as the famous navigator once lived in that place. Christopher Columbus visited Madeira in 1498, and he stayed in a house in this area, which belonged to João Esmeraldo, the old. It was a house with Gothic architectural traces, built in 1494, when the sugar trade generated vast fortunes in the Island. From then on that house became known as 'Casa de Colombo' - Columbus House.
 
 
Columbus Square
Colombus Square
 
 
 
In August 1989 archaeological excavations began.
In the area where once stood the 'House of Columbus', and others, a collection of ceramics from the 18th century was found, as well as coins in a very poor condition as well as human and animal bones. One can say that a great collection dating from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries was uncovered.
Following the plan of the Borough, in 1990, a parking lot was built, in 1992, the Sugar Town Museum was constructed and in 1993, the plan was completed with the recovery of all the surrounding area of the Columbus Square Nucleus.
Nowadays the Columbus Square is a pleasant place in Funchal where visitors can enjoy shopping as well as bars, restaurants and teahouses.
This space is also used for many public events.

 
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