Discover - Igreja de Santa Maria Maior

Igreja de Santa Maria Maior

Igreja de Santa Maria Maior

This church is the result of a promise made by Funchal Town Hall in 1521, when, following an outbreak of the plague, São Tiago Menor was elected patron saint of the city.

The church was restored and extended in 1632, but was destroyed by an earthquake on the 1st of April, 1748. The present church was built from 1751 to 1768 to replace the previous one.

Its architectural style is mainly baroque and the main interest of its interior lies in the wood carved and gilded altars, Rococo-style, and in the ceiling paintings. The big silver and ebony sanctuary and, in the sacristy, a painted cabinet from 1567 are well worth noticing.

The church got its present name when it replaced Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Calhau, destroyed by a terrible alluvial flood in 1803. At this time, the people of Funchal were greatly devoted to Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro, who had an altar in this church and almost led São Tiago Menor, the former patron saint, to oblivion.