Mudejar Ceiling of the Cathedral

Come and admire the ceiling of our cathedral.

There are 1500 m2 of Mudejar roof.

All days of the week from 10:45 am to 11:00 am are illuminated and can be admired in all the splendor of its beauty.

D. Manuel had the Cathedral built on June 4, 1485.

Work began in 1493 and ended in 1517. 24 years of construction.

During construction D. Manuel had the entire ceiling decorated in the Mudejar style given his experience of contemplating the style of these ceilings in southern Spain.

CEILING OF THE CATHEDRAL - It 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 scented cedar of the island (Orycedrus juniperus), in Mudéjar style. It is the most beautiful and richest Moorish ceiling ever built on the island of Madeira and perhaps even in Portugal. Some art experts prefer it to that of the Igreja Matriz de Caminha.

The ceiling that covers the central Nave is tripartite, the upper plane profusely dotted with straight lines, which form whimsical geometric figures, and enriched by rosettes and gilded pendants, of two types, artistically carved, and by ivory inlays.

This plane rests on the sides that are inclined and formed by parallel lines that cross at the ends and in the center. To further increase the sumptuousness of this work, a rich frieze was painted along the walls, in the "Renaissance" style, and framed by two ropes.

The ceilings of the side aisles are inclined and the same as the central one, differing only in the frieze painted on the north and south walls.

THE CEILING FRIEZES There are four friezes in "Renaissance" style and of great decorative value, which enrich the ceiling of the transept, central nave and sides. These are painted on a green background and framed by two carved ropes. The design is perfect and it highlights angels, griffins, eagles, centaurs, leaves, shields with the cross of Christ and armillary spheres. It is thought to have been executed in the middle of the first quarter of the 20th century. XVI, not knowing its author. This decoration becomes even more valuable given the fact that it is the only existing 16th century work in Madeira.

The Mudéjar ceilings of the Funchal Cathedral were completely restored from 2019 to 2021 with their public presentation on November 29, 2021, at 6 pm with a concert by the Madeira Classical Orchestra.

36 professionals were involved in the conservation and restoration works, from different nationalities and from different areas as conservators-restorers; carpenters and other technicians.

The works were divided into 5 phases:

north transept (November 2019 to August 2020)

north side nave (January 2020 to December 2020)

south transept (October 2020 to February 2021)

south side nave (December 2020 to April 2021)

central nave (March 2021 to July 2021)

before restoration and after restoration

after restauration and before