Sunday: 8 am; 9 am; 11 am (2º READING IN ENGLISH); 5 pm; 6pm

Saturday: 11 am; 6 pm

From Monday to Friday (Weekdays Mass): 8 am; 8:30 am; 11h am; 5:30 pm



Sunday from 7:30 am - 12:00; and from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm;

Saturday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 07:00 pm;

Monday to Friday: from 7:15 am to 6:30 pm.

Group visit times: weekdays

Daily 9:00 am - 11:00 am and 11:30 pm to 05;00 pm; from 06:00 to 06:30 pm




Weekdays: 09.00 to 17.00


Tuesday and Friday: 09.00 to 10:00 am


WELCOME to the Cathedral of the Diocese of Funchal


2 - Wind guard

3 - Baptismal font chapel

4 - Pulpit

5 - Transept

6 - Altarpiece of the main chapel

7 - Stalls of the canons

8 - Chapel of St. James the Less

9 - Daily Sacristy

10 - Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

11 - Altar

12 - Chapel of Good Lord Jesus

13 - Chapel of Saint Anthony

14 - Altar of the Lord of Miracles and St. Rita of Cassia

15 - Altar of Our Lady of Conception and Sts. Joachim and Anne

16 - Altar of Souls

17 - Altar of St. Michael the Archangel and Our Lady of Coromoto

18 - Altar of St. Joseph

19 - Altar of Our Lady of Fatima

20 - Chapel of Our Lady Queen Of The Angels

21 - Meeting room of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament

22 - Bishop's sacristy

23 - Access to the bell tower

24 - Church notary services

25 - Office

26 - The chapter

27 - Toilets

28 - Candle shop

Main Features of the Cathedral

The cathedral is a mendicant gothic style building with several elements from King Manuel I, the so-called "Manueline style".

The plan and elevations of the cathedral are linked to the mendicant gothic tradition, with a Latin cross plan and an east-west orientation, as was common before the Council of Trent. Its facade, divided in three panels, has a central panel composed by red stonework from the area of Cabo Girão. The Gothic portal features eight archivolts with pointed arches and has a custody and the Portuguese royal coat of arms above it. At the top of the facade, stands a Gothic rose window with the Cross of Christ.

The cathedral is necessarily marked by the euphoria of the new worlds discovered and by the "Manueline" style. It consists of the chancel, transept, naves, tower, exterior and annexes.

The tabernacle

The silver tabernacle was offered by King D. Manuel I. In the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament we can admire the images of the three theological virtues: Faith, Charity and Hope. They were carved from the mast of a ship stranded in Funchal.


In the centre of the cathedral is the chapel of the High Altar with the stalls of the canons and the cathedra of the Bishop. In this chapel, we can admire the large altarpiece with 12 paintings in Flemish style and, in the centre, the Crucified Lord, the image of the Patroness of the Cathedral, Our Lady of the Assumption and a tabernacle. The paintings depict the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus. On the second level we can admire some episodes in the life of Our Lady such as the Annunciation by the Angel and her Assumption.

On the lower level, Eucharistic scenes such as Melchisedec offering the bread to David, the Last Supper, St Gregory's mass and the manna.

In the carved stalls we can admire 22 images of the Apostles and prophets, and other figures from the Old Testament.

Mudejar ceiling

This is a very rich ceiling, of great artistic value, made of alfarge, which covers the naves and the transept. It is built with the precious and odorous cedar of the island (the juniperus Orycedrus), in the Mudejar style. The ceiling that covers the central Nave is tripartite, the upper plane being profusely traced with straight lines, which form capricious geometrical figures, and enriched by rosettes and golden pendants, of two types, artistically carved. Four Renaissance-style friezes enrich the ceiling and are painted on a green background and framed by two carved ropes.

The ceilings of the lateral naves are sloping and are the same as the central one, differing only in the frieze painted on the north and south walls.

The tower

The tower, rising to a height of around 55 m, has four floors with ribbed vaults, the last of which is occupied by the bells and seven bell windows. The spire at the top of the tower is covered with tiles from the Seville workshops and was ordered by King Manuel in August 1514. The bells are reached by a spiral stone staircase with 160 steps.

The history of the Cathedral

D. Manuel I and the construction of the Cathedral

The Cathedral was built during the reign of King Manuel I. We owe its construction to the prayers and donations of our ancestors and, above all, to the King's will.

In 1489, the people of Funchal, through the senate, claimed that it would be very difficult to fulfil the will of Duke D. Manuel to build the "big church". D. Manuel insisted on the project for the church and recalled the duke's donation of the field for its construction, emphasising that the project was fundamental to the nobility and honour of the island.

In 1493, the Duke ordered the work to begin. The construction progressed, with some setbacks and lack of funding, as in 1500, with energetic calls for attention from the king, about the sloppy collection of tax on wine sales. In 1503, the king conceded that 1,000 arrobas of sugar could be taken from his income to finance the construction work.

D. Manuel had assumed the responsibility of constructing the main chapel and its subsequent financing. In 1508 the big church was blessed by the Bishop of Tangier, who had been sent to the island by the Order of Christ.

On August 21, 1508 Funchal was raised to the condition of city. On June 12, 1514 the big church acquired the distinction of Cathedral of the new diocese. On October 18, 1517 the cathedral was consecrated by D. Duarte, bishop of Dume, who had been sent to Madeira by the first bishop of Funchal, D. Diogo Pinheiro.


1485 - D. Manuel, donatory of the Madeira archipelago, donated, to the municipality of Funchal, a plot of land, in the so-called Campo de Duque, for the construction of a church, square and council house.

1493 - Beginning of the construction, under the leadership of master Pêro Anes.

1508 - Blessing of the new Church by the head bishop D. João Lobo. The parish of Santa Maria do Calhau was extinguished, being transferred to the new Church. Elevation of the village of Funchal into a city.

1512 - Altarpiece of the Cathedral.

1514 - Creation of the Diocese of Funchal by Pope Leo X, with Diogo Pinheiro as the first bishop. The extensive territory of the new bishopric covered all the lands discovered by the Portuguese.

1517 - Consecration of the Cathedral.

1523 - In the cathedral choir, St. James the Less is proclaimed protector and defender of the city by the captain of Funchal, the council's officers, the citizens, the people, the dean and the chapter.