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Among the uncountable things to do and to see in Funchal, the remarkable Saint Lawrence Fortress (16-17th century) is worth a visit.

The fortress was a former residence of the Donee Commissioners and the governors of the Island and the “Palace” designation arose when the grand floor and its magnificent rooms were built in the 18th century.

In 1836 the palace was divided in two: a civil and a military part. The western part was assigned to the civil governor and since 1976 it became the official residence of the Minister of the Republic for the Autonomous Region of Madeira. The eastern part now hosts a military museum.

The palace allows us to step back in time as the rooms show the modern taste of its period. The most imposing room is the Ball room, where in former times, many madeiran balls were held. Nowadays the ballroom hosts a series of concerts.

Some walls and ceiling panels were painted by Max Römer, a German artist who arrived in Madeira in the twenties and created impressive paintings for 38 years, finding inspiration in the richness of Madeira’s farmlands and seas.

The palace holds a distinguished collection of decorative arts – antique furniture, porcelain and golden bronze candelabra are especially noteworthy.

It was classified in 1943  as a National Monument and it opened to the public in 1995.

Are you ready to enjoy the beauty of the palace?

Nanda Nóbrega (Official Tourist Guide)

Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro