Igreja de Sao Pedro

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May, 2019

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Work began on Igreja de Sao Pedro in 1590, in what was a new parish to the west of Funchal. It predates the “Se Cathedral”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/funchal/churches/se/index.html . Although completed in six years, it was 1749 before all the alterations, extensions and improvements were completed.

The noble families began to move away from the old town and the church reflects their wealth at that time. Its tall bell tower with coloured tile roof and small cockerel at the top, must have dominated the surroundings.

Like other churches in Madeira, the stark exterior is a contrast of white and dark. A flight of steps leads up to the double doors. It is a typical Mannerist style building with single nave and chancel with three small chapels off the nave.

There is a simple baptistry in a small vestibule at the back of the church. The rest of the inside is a inside is a complete contrast with C17th blue and white azulejo tiles covering the walls, crystal chandeliers and paintings in gilt frames. Even the nave ceiling is painted.

The chancel arch with its two side altars and chancel are Baroque architecture at its finest. The main altar and reredos cover all of the end wall of the chancel and are magnificent with its gilt covered carving and particularly impressive tabernacle behind the figure of Christ Crucified. The chancel ceiling is painted and the walls are covered with paintings

There are side chapels off the nave also with highly decorative Baroque altars. The chapel at the back of the north wall is later than the other two and lacks the azulejo tiles. It is surrounded by an arcade of pillars supporting round arches and the reredos is almost plain in comparison with the others in the church.

There is a small sacristy on the north side of the chancel, which is also used by the flower arrangers.

This must be one of the best Baroque churches in Funchal. Being away from the town centre it is a lot quieter than “Igreja do Colegio”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/funchal/churches/colegio/index.html It is definitely worth finding. It is open 9-12 and 3-7.

There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/funchal/churches/saopedro/index.html

All my pictures of Madeira are “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/madeira/index.html


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