Madeira Pictures - Santa Catarina Park
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|Santa Catarina Park in Funchal|
|The entrance to Santa Catarina Park - See our Santa Catarina Parque tourist guide|
|In and around Santa Catarina Park, Funchal|
|The pond and surrounds at the top of the park|
|Statues and memorial plaque in the park|
|All Photographs may be used for personal, educational or non-commercial use
Things to look out for in Santa Catarina Park
Santa Catarina Parque in Funchal has many things of interest for those who know what to look for. A few points of interest are given below.
Capela de Santa Catarina
The Capela de Santa Catarina is located toward the bottom of the park. The original chapel was built at the request of Costançe de Almeida, the wife of Zarco, the sea captain who claimed the island for Portugal in 1420. The structure there today still incorporates parts of the original building.
In 1425, Zarco became the governor of the western half of Madeira and founded its present day capital, Funchal. The Capela de Santa Catarina was intended by Costançe de Almeida to morally guide the female inhabitants of the new settlement.
Henry the Navigator statue
The statue of Henry the Navigator and its arch of stonework that adorns the lower entrance to the park was one of the original features of the grounds. Along with the Rotunda do Infante, it is one of the enduring landmarks of Funchal.
Long before the area became a public park, the grounds above the chapel were a farmland estate. This estate was known as the Quinta das Angústias and a large house, the Quinta Vigia stood toward the top of the slope.
The photo shows the area in 1949, when a procession of the statue of Nossa Senhora de Fátima passed down alongside the grounds toward the Rotunda do Infante.
Gibraltar commemoration plaque
During the Second World War, the Rock of Gibraltar was under constant threat of attack. Therefore, the authorities decided to undertake a mass evacuation of its citizens.
Madeira, and Funchal in particular, accepted over 2,000 evacuees in July and August of 1940. The evacuees stayed on the island until the war ended in 1945. Of course, during that time, as is the normal with the passage of time, some of the guest Gibraltarians passed away from natural causes.
The commemorative plaque in the parque is a recent addition and it is a gift and symbol of every-lasting thanks given by the people of Gibraltar to the island of Madeira and its inhabitants.
Reminders of the Quinta das Angústias
In order to help preserve its heritage, the grounds of the park include reminders of its history.
There is a statue entitled The Sower near to the lake which looks outward and onward. This statue was sculpted by Francisco Franco in 1919.
There is also an old steamroller on display above the lake. Although not kept in the best of conditions, there are spots of rust that need attention, it is yet another reminder of the agricultural history of the area.
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