Gardens of Madeira

Municipal Gardens

This well established garden was planted in the 1880's with stock brought in from Paris and is situated on the Avenida Arriaga. Today there are a large number of plant species with the most interesting being identified with labels giving their common and scientific names, their plant family and their country of origin. Completing the park's attractions is a small lake and stream, several statues and busts (Francis of Assisi, Simon Bolivar, Joao Fernandes, the liberator of Pernambu-co, and the writer Joao Reis Gomes), a cafe and an open-air auditorium.

Botanical Gardens

Founded in 1960, this garden occupies the grounds of the Quinta do Bom Sucesso dating from the end of the 19th century. Between 200 and 350 metres above sea level, this garden forms an enormous terrace overlooking the city. Here, the most varied species of flora can be admired with more than 3,000 exotic plants, some 100 native species (among which are the well-known laurisilva) and many examples of plants from the different geological zones of the world. The garden has a cafe and also a park with exotic birds, parrots, cactus and macaws.

Santa Catarina Park

Located next to the Rotonda do Infante and taking in some of the most fantastic views of the bay of Funchal, this park was laid out between 1946 and 1966, when it was taken over by the local Municipality. Plants from all over the world are well presented here, and there are special selections of trees from tropical and subtropical regions and native Madeira flora. Both native and exotic species are labeled to indicate their common and scientific names, their plant family and their country of origin. Ideal for strolling and relaxing, this park also has magnificent views over the city and the whole of the bay. Its lake is populated by swans and ducks and is a beautiful back drop for photographers and artists. As a further interest the presence of the Chapel of Santa Catarina, built in the first quarter of the 15th century and the oldest extant church on the island. There are also monuments to Henry the Navigator, Christopher Columbus, the aviators Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral, and also "The Sower", looking out over the bay.

Monte Palace Gardens

Near the previous park and constructed between 1894 and 1899, although completely renovated recently, this park preserves the romantic atmosphere of the time when it was conceived. Its main entrance in the Caminho de Ferro goes through the beautiful "Largo da Fonte", a great square shaded by ancient plane trees, with a marble fountain dedicated to the Virgem de Monte, a bust of father Jose Marques Jardim and a bass-relief panel with images of the carreiros, who even today carry tourists from the city on toboggans along the former track of the rack railway. The pathways of the park, where trees from all over the world can be admired, lead down to the lake with its ducks, and at its highest point, 586 m above sea level, to the church of the Virgen de Monte.

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