In the past, this journey used to be by train. There was a railway link between Funchal – Pombal Station – and Monte and later to the Quinta do Terreiro da Luta palace.
This ascent, much enjoyed by tourists and by the local population in general, was opened in 1893 and ran until May 1943, when it was dismantled for reasons related to World War II.More than half a century later, Funchal Cable Car was built, re-establishing tourist transport to Monte.
The construction process was pioneering as it was partly built in an urban environment before continuing up the mountain.
It successfully overcame a series of engineering challenges due to difficult accessibility and having to run over buildings in Funchal.
Sinking the foundations within the urban setting and erecting the tubular sections that form the intermediate support towers implied moving enormous metal structures in places with difficult access. Getting the 3.2 km long steel cable in place over the city and the mountainside to Monte was another interesting feat of engineering.
Construction started in September 1999. It was inaugurated on 15th November 2000 and immediately opened to the public.