Funchal (pronounced|fũˈʃaɫˤ), population 100,526 [ [http://18.104.22.168/atlas/Cap2/Cap2d_2.html UMA POPULAÇÃO QUE SE URBANIZA, Uma avaliação recente - Cidades, 2004] Nuno Pires Soares, Instituto Geográfico Português (Geographic Institute of Portugal)] , is the capital of the
Madeira Islandsof Portugal. Funchal is also the largest city on the islands and with its neighbouring boroughs has over 150,000 inhabitants.
Funchal is located in a unique area; the natural geological features form an "amphitheatre" surrounding the city, which begins at the harbour and rises almost 1200 metres high on gentle slopes. This provides a natural shelter and was what attracted the first settlers.
Madeira's capital for more than five centuries, Funchal is said to have been named as such because of the abundance of
fennel("funcho" - in Portuguese) that was growing there.
Part of Funchal Municipality are the
Savage Islandsone nature reserve 160 km (100 mi) South of Funchal.
Funchal is bypassed by a superhighway to the north east and southwest which accesses to Santa Cruz, the Madeira airport and Ribeira Brava.
Churches and Parishes
There are 10 Roman Catholic parishes in Funchal region. The most populated is
The British cemetery (or "Protestant Cemetery") in Funchal is located by the Holy Trinity Church. It contains the remains of a number of famous people, including
Paul Langerhans, the discover of the insulin-producing islets in the pancreas which bear his name. [http://www.holytrinity-madeira.com/html/the_cemetery.html]
It was founded by
João Gonçalves Zarcoin 1421 and was elevated to citystatus by King Manuel I of Portugalin 1508.
In the early 1400s,
Álvaro Fernandeswas the commander of Funchal.
In the 16th century Funchal was important as a stopping place between the
Indiesand the New World, and was known as a wealthy place. It was also the port for Madeiran sugarand wine.Nowadays Funchal is a major turistic atraction,with several hotels,animportant port(harbour): Porto do Funchaland an International Airport Madeira/Funchal(FNC),located in nearby municipality of Santa Cruz,(Madeira Island).Funchal is the main hub in autonomous region of Madeira,and it is the portuguese the most prominent and largest city outside the mainland Portugal( Portugal Continental.The city and municipality of Funchalcoexiste as one with aproximatly 100,000 inhabitantes;however the urban conurbationof Funchalhas about 150,000 residents in the cities of Greater Funchal: Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, Caniço, Santa Cruzand Machico.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Football Player of Manchester United
José Vicente Barbosa( May 2, 1823- November 3, 1907) Zoologist
Artur de Sousa Pinga, Legendary Portuguese football player
Alberto João Jardim, President of the Regional Government of Madeira
Aires de Ornelas e Vasconcelos, "former" Archbishop of Goa, India
Cabral do Nascimento, Poet
Pedro Camacho, Composer
João Fernandes Vieira, Military
Vânia Fernandes, Singer, Portugal's Eurovision Song Contest 2008Contestant
Fátima Lopes, Fashion Designer
Mark Athias, Investigator and Reformer
Henrique Franco, Painter
Victor Costa, Composer
Jorge Borges, Jazz Pianist
Bruno Santos, Jazz Guitarist
Eurico Martins, Famous Badolins Orchestra Conductor and Orchestrator
Moises Henriques, Australian Cricketer
Herberto Hélder, Poet
* [http://www.cm-funchal.pt/cmf/en/ Municipality official site]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=&ie=UTF8&ll=32.64803,-16.9068&spn=0.016405,0.040255&t=k&om=1 Funchal on Google Maps]
* [http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=14&lon=-16.9833&lat=&32.633w=750&h=500 Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver]
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