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Town Hall

Praca do Municipio, Funchal, Madeira 9004-512, Portugal
+351 291 705 060
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On the one hand, the primitive administration of the islands’ rural areas functioned as a system of hereditary captaincies which were based on the feudal system of subordination of lands. On the other hand, due to its condition of town, Funchal’s administration was ran exclusively by its own inhabitants through a group of government bodies formed by the Homens Bons, gentlemen who were among the most influential people in Funchal. Circa 1453 King Afonso V granted the local population the rights of a small town. Dom Manuel, Duke of Beja and Viseu and future king of Portugal ordered the construction of some public buildings in Funchal, specifically a Notarial Palace and a City Hall, on some of the lands he owned on the eastern bank of St. Lucy’s River. The construction of this first City Hall, placed behind the cathedral, finished in 1491 and in 1508 Funchal obtained its coat of arms. Later the local authorities moved to a 19th century building located next to the square that lies in front of the cathedral. This building had been distrained by Funchal’s government as a result of the money that its owner owed to the local authorities. The development of the city forced its authorities to look for a larger place to hold its headquarters. Their search eventually ended up leading them to the Carvalhal Esmeraldo Palace, located next to the Jesuits’ College, being that the space was first rented and then acquired in 1883, the authorities remaining there until today. The current City Council Palace underwent several renovations too, especially during the 1940s according to the plans of the architects Carlos Ramos and Raul Lino. The main facade suffered some changes as well as some of the rooms and even the area around the palace.
  • Excellent48%
  • Very good46%
  • Average6%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“worth a visit” (2 reviews)
“tower” (10 reviews)
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
Praca do Municipio, Funchal, Madeira 9004-512, Portugal
CONTACT
+351 291 705 060
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Write a ReviewReviews (49)
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"interesting building"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"tower"
in 10 reviews
"leda"
in 3 reviews
"baroque"
in 2 reviews
"volunteers"
in 2 reviews
"tiles"
in 3 reviews
"history"
in 12 reviews
"fountain"
in 3 reviews
"guide"
in 11 reviews
"tour"
in 10 reviews
"century"
in 2 reviews
"visitors"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 35 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2018

Particularly worth seeing the entrance portal carved in grey stones, the entrance hall with the blue and white azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles), the pompous staircase, the wonderful interior courtyard, a fountain and the marble statue depicting the Greek myth of „Leda and the swan”. Built...More

Thank Erzs_bet_S274887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 19, 2018

Very interesting, wasn’t something we had planned to do. Our guide was a Dutch volunteer on an exchange trip and very knowledgeable. Stunning city views from the top.

Thank Jo R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 2, 2018

Stumbled across the town hall and it is really worth a visit. Interesting building and especially the piazza and the tiling.

Thank td2traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed March 12, 2018

Nice place to slow down and relax a little while touring Funchal. The building is old, originally from 1758. Pretty architecture, and the courtyard was lined with pretty flowers.

Thank norskies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2018 via mobile

We did not do the tour but just walked in to see the central courtyard. Make sure you visit the church across the street. So ornate

Thank Lesterbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 29, 2017

We were short of time to do a detail look inside but still had a nice walk through the courtyard. As you walk in through the front entrance you sense so much of Funchal’s history in the blue and white tiles. The building was originally...More

Thank RadTel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 31, 2017

One of the tours run by Madeiran Heritage, the organisation run by the Students' Union of the University. A Lovely building with an internal courtyard around which are offices and the rooms used for entertaining visitors. Another building which oozes history. The visit finishes with...More

Thank Dorothy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 10, 2017

By chance we came across and joined a tour of the Town Hall. We enjoyed an informative and amusing guide as he took us round the public rooms explaining the history of the building and the notable people who had worked for the development of...More

Thank Geoff191278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 16, 2016

It was It was a nice surprise when we were able to visit the City Hall. The good young guide carried us through the City Hall. We heard that she was involved in the Erasmus program of EU. It was very good idea to build...More

Thank RipeH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 17, 2016

We were on a guided tour, with young Carlos as our guide. He was brilliant, we learned so much about the history of Madeira and Portugal. Carlos was a student from the university but not a history student, pity as he would make a brilliant...More

Thank MadExpat22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
WanderingsAscent
July 4, 2015|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from University_MadeiraSU | Property representative |
Hello! Yes, you just have to go inside the City Hall main entrance (in front of the College Square) and ask at the reception. We have the tours, from Monday to Friday, at 11:00. Hope to see you soon.
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