Forte de Sao Tiago

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Things to do


Date of travel

May, 2019

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The Fort of São Tiago is a bright yellow building in the old town below Rua De Santa Maria. You can’t miss it!

The fort was built in 1614 after a devastating pirate raid in 1566 when many people were killed. It was extended in the late C18th and was used by the military until 1992. It housed the Museum of Contemporary Art until 2015 and now has a small exhibition about restoration work. It houses a “restaurant.”:

A gateway leads into a cobbled courtyard. It was lunchtime and everywhere shuts for a couple of hours over lunch. (only the tourists are daft enough to be out in the heat of the sun.) I was the only person around. There were no signs saying ‘Pay Here’ or ‘No Admittance’ so I wandered in…

Steps lead up to a upper courtyard with the remains of gun emplacements. Off were assorted buildings but all seemed to be empty. It does have an unkempt and unloved feel.

There are good views across the harbour from the ramparts.

It’s worth a look if in the area but not worth going out of your way to find.

All my pictures of Madeira are “here.”:


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