Category Archives: History

Vintage Film Madeira 1927 – 1975

VINTAGE FILM MADEIRA – Private collection of Hugo Reis – Year: 1927 – 1975. Production: Hugo Reis ( This film will be exhibited at the ISLANDS.DOC Festival Date & Time: Saturday 21 of May at 15h00 Location: Centro das Artes – Casas das Mudas, Calheta – Madeira. Click here to see where Casa das Mudas is located Synopsis: Hugo Reis

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Columbus Festival – Festival Colombo 2011

The Columbus Festival was first held in 2000 with the aim of launching a quality cultural tourism offer on the island of Porto Santo. This year it will be held from 15th till 17th of September 2011. The event is based around the historical figure of Christopher Columbus, who had close links with Madeira both as a sugar trader during

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Cais do Carvão

Located in between the lido swimming pool and clubhouse Naval do Funchal (that was before Quinta Calaça), is the former Pier Wilson, now known as Cais do Carvão (Coal Wharf). The pier was built in 1903. From here many vapour-vessels passing were supplied with coal on their way through Funchal to America and Africa. The importance of coal in the

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Madeira 1927 till 1961 – The Movie

Relive the wonderful past of Madeira. A compilation of amateur short films (35mm, 16mm and 9.5mm) about Madeira. A private collection of Hugo Reis. See the trailer …

Raizes de um Povo – Roots of a People

We need to learn the past …. to understand the present … and prepare for the future. This magnificent project, created by Eduardo Costa Audiovisual Productions, aims an encounter with the valuable past, the Folklore and Ethnography of the archipelago of Madeira. It portraits in terrific details the daily life and activities the small nation in the past, but in

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Madeira 1950 – Caronia Cruise

Caronia, ship of the Cunard Line, visiting Funchal (Madeira) in the year 1950. For complete footage of this and other films, visit

Madeira and Lisbon 1932

Another great vintage film about Madeira … this time its the year 1932. In the film we follow the voyage the cruise-ship Gripsholm, after six days crossing the Atlantic it reaches Madeira and then heads towards Lisbon. The first part of the Swedish film shows great historical coverage of Funchal in 1932. Enjoy!

Poço da Neve – Well of Snow

Some things seems trivial nowadays, but in the past they were unthinkable, … for example ice. With the advent of refrigerators and other similar devices today it has become possible to have ice all year-round. Now … imagine 100 years ago …. how could one get ice? Only in winter and in the highest regions of Madeira, when it snowed

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Comboio do Monte

The restoration of Monte Railway will start in the first quarter of 2010 unknown. According to a publication (unfortunately now removed) of the Madeira Tourism this will be a funicular railway system. The plan is to restore the original railway, which used to run between the center of Funchal and the parish of Monte. In the past (first half of

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Madeira in the NYT

Four (web)pages article about Madeira … its history, culture, traditions and various aspects of daily life. Written by Barbara Bell for The New York Times. Madeira has been Portuguese since the days of Prince Henry the Navigator, who sent two lieutenants, Joao Goncalves Zarco and Tristao Vaz Teixeira, on an expedition that reached Porto Santo in 1418. Returning the following

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Madeira 1840 till 1960

Laninka from Canada has sent us a link to a beautiful Youtube video (actually a slide show) of old photos of Madeira Island from 1840 till 1960. It show mainly Funchal with its surroundings, landscapes, customs, how people lived and the types of public transport that were used during those years. Between the photos are also paintings and engravings of

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Madeira 1969

This is another vintage movie of Madeira I found on Youtube, …. filmed in 1969 in a location somewhere in Funchal. This one shows the manufacturing of special fishing lines that was used to catch the fish Espada. The yarn was crafted and slicked with oil from crushed bark and roots. The film material is unedited (no sound), 16mm shot

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International Museum Day

On May 18th we celebrated the International Museum Day …. which this year it has as main theme Museums as agents of social change and development.

Rota da Cal

We recently visited a new project on Madeira Island called Rota da Cal (Lime Route / Limestone Trail). Before I continue my story about it … I want to say … it is worth to visit the place. This project is a educational tourist attraction which is located in São Vicente, Sitio dos Lameiros. It is easy to find. When

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A Madeira Blog from 1954

There are many travel journals, travelogues and online diaries about people visiting the island of Madeira … but the one that I found lately is, in my opinion, a special one. A travelogue written by Mrs. Frances A. Roper, in which she describes, day by day, her visit to Madeira. What is so special about this? you might ask. Well

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Dighton Rock coming to Madeira

A new Dighton Rock replica is in the making at Tillitson Pearson Inc. (TPI) in Warren, a quarter century after the first replica was created. The replica, the fourth of its kind, symbolizes the theory of many Portuguese Americans that the Portuguese were the first to discover the New World, rather than Christopher Columbus. The theory, which was first conceived

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Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill is one of the many great names the island of Madeira had the honour to have as a visitor. Other visitors we can recall are Empress Sissi of Austria, Emperor Karl I of Austria – Karl von Hapsburg (also known as Charles IV of Hungary), or George Bernard Shaw and so on. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, a nature

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Charles count de Lambert

Charles count de Lambert is a famous French/Russian aviator. He was the first student taught by Wilbur Wright in France. On October 18, 1909, he was the first to fly over Paris and around the Eiffel Tower. In addition, he set an altitude record that same day. He was also the first aviator to fly in Holland (The Netherlands) on

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Inaccurate rubbish

One of the dangers the web resources can have is the inaccurate information that some website might publish. Most people think that what they read on the web … must be also true. Unfortunately not everything what you see here is true. I could tell you now that I am 27 years, good looking, have blue eyes and millionaire …

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