Quinta das Cruzes or "Manor
Estate of the Crosses" museum opened in 1952
as one of the most prestigious and well kept museums
of Madeira. The fine collection of silver,
filigree and antiques are the legacy
and collection of the private collector César
Gomes. In 1966 the collection was supplemented
with the private collection of fine and valuable decorative
items of John Wetzler - a Czech citizen who
resided on Madeira. The combined donations of these
philanthropists reveal a remarkable and awesome collection
of some uniquely Madeiran relics and antiques. Porcelain,
furniture of rare woods, glazed pottery,
marble, cutlery and many other household
ornaments, even little mangers that any good
catholic home would boast off, for example, during
the Christmas celebrations of the holy holidays in
the nineteenth century, are open to public enthusement.
The collection is exemplary and special in that it
helps portray the old Madeiran social life at its
best. It educates us to understand the etiquette customs
of the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries
on Madeira. Showing the visitor in typical fashion
the way any fine lord or gracious nobleman would have
lived on the island.
old and historic mansion that holds the collection
dates back from the early origins of colonisation
and was probably used by the first Donee Generals
and their successors as their official residence.
The landscaped garden that holds the manor estate
spreads over 1 hectare of very valuable land
in the centre of Funchal. It was acquired by the local
authorities precisely for the purposes of displaying
the valuable and rich collection left to future generations
by the illustrious collectors.
of the furniture on display valuable examples of renaissance
through to romantic craftsmanship and woodwork:
cabinets and chests made from the excellent
wood found on the island dating from the seventeenth
century, Indo-Portuguese desks dating from
the sixteenth century and many other English
and Portuguese style furniture dating from
between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
pieces of marble on display include examples
of Indo-Portuguese and European craftsmanship. Rare
examples of Chinese porcelain, glazed pottery
manufactured by the Portuguese, silver and filigree
design of Portuguese and foreign origin, all dating
from the through the fifteenth through to the nineteenth
century are also on display. Clay and other
works of art of local Madeiran artists from through
the previous centuries are also found.
unique point of interest to many visitors and guests
of the museum are the several Manueline windows
(a style of architecture which flourished in Portugal
during the reign of King Manuel I , 1495-1521)
which are embedded into several parts of the garden
after they were rescued from several buildings that
were either torn down or left to careless misuse.
An important altar panel dating from the eighteenth
century is also edified in the garden.
archaeological garden was built on the premises
with many commemorative tombstones dating from
the fifteenth through to the nineteenth centuries
supplanted to and preserved by the museum. There is
a very good example of the classic style of Portuguese
coat of arms masonry on the archaeological
spread. Alongside and in stark contrast to the preservation
theme of the museum an orchid garden and nursery presides
in operation. Visitors are welcome to admire the orchids,
and their method of cultivation, which are collected
and grown from endemic specimens of Madeira.