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The Monte Church  (Igreja do Monte)

The Church of Monte sits, as referenced by its name, on a mount  ( Monte is the portuguese translation of this word ) in an area also imaginatively named Monte...

The Monte region is of spectacular beauty where the spacious countryside can be glimpsed through masses of luxuriant foliage. At an altitude of about 1.800 feet, on a road that runs halfway between the warm sea of Funchal and the loftiest mountains of the island, Monte has assembled an astonishing variety of plant life.
Going through the Park, either walking with care along the slopes, or on the narrow road that leads to Babosas, you will reach the Church  of  Monte.
Completed at the end of the year 1818, it was constructed over the ruins of the original house of worship that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1748.

 The church, with its handsome baroque façade, rises high above a wide basalt stairway which the pilgrims cerimoniously and without fault mount on the evening of the grand and important festival of Monte - August 15th. In accordance with ancient tradition, thousands of people gather from every corner of the island to pay homage to Our Lady of Monte, The Patron Saint of Madeira. The gala celebration reaches its height on the night of August 14th, and continues into the small hours of  the morning for, in addition to the deeply religious aspect, the fête is a popular Madeiran picnic. There is dancing, regional songs sung, and typical dishes consumed - like  espetadas (meat cubes on a skewer), bolos do caco (round, flat loaf made uniquely and only in Madeira), and other native dishes, all washed down with the local red wine. During the evening you may want to visit the church where hundreds of lamps and candles illuminate the images of  saint, and highlight the details of religious paintings that celebrate the cult of  the Virgin. In an altar to the left is the famous tomb of the Emperor Karl I of Austria who lived here in exile after the downfall of the Austria-Hungary empire. His death came on the first of April, 1922, one year after arriving on Madeira. [Home] [cathedral] [sta clara] [colgio] [sta catarina] [cap corpo santo] [monte]

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