Is it Madeira or Rio de Janeiro?

Madeira can suprise on every step. You can discover here secret beaches, high montains, beautiful levadas, long tunnels, hidden trails, delicious food, amazing lanscapes and many more. This time I would like to focus on madeiran monuments. You can find them many in Funchal and around all island. But there is one which looks very impresive.

I would like to present you The Christ the King statue (Portuguese : Cristo Rei). It is also known as the Sacred Heart monument. It is an Art Deco carving of Jesus Christ in Garajau. The statue has 15 meters tall with its pedestal. It is very simmilar with Christ the Redemmer statue in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). But on Madeira it is 4 years older!

In the past non catholic Christians were thrown from the cliffs. Only Catholics were allowed to be buried on the island. It was until 1770 when the British Cementary of Funchal was established for non catholic Christians. The Jewish Cementary of Funchal  was established in 1851. The statue was built in remembrance of the function of the area’s history.

The statue was built in 1927 and consecrated on October 30, 1927. It was financed by the local lawyer Aires de Ornelas and his wife. It was created by French artists Georges Serraz and Pierre Charles Lenoir. 

Behind the statue is a path with many steps. There is very good spot to take nice photos. From this viewpoint there is an excellent panoramic view over the Atlantic Ocean, the Garajau Natural Reserve and part of the Funchal bay.

There is a cafe nearby where you can buy coffee, ice cream or beer and a fridge magnet (of course with Christ). Close to statue is a cable car, which goes down to the rocky beach. It is possible to go down by the winding road. The cost of a cable car is about 6 euros per person.

Jacek Szkauro Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
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