In 1874, the Catholic priest and naturalist Ernest Schmitz settled on the island of Madeira. As a naturalist, and although her specialty was Zoology and Ornitology, Schmitz was also interested in insects, terrestrial and marine molluscs, fish, corals and algae in this archipelago.
In 1882 he organized a Natural History office at the Seminary of Funchal that would later become a museum, in which collections of rocks, corals, fossils, plants (vascular and avascular), lichens, embalmed animals (resident birds, migratory birds, mammals, fish and reptiles) and other preserved in formaldehyde (technique for conservation of soft and viscous animals) were exhibited. In the years that a coles of Briophytes and Fanerogâmicas, organized by the English naturalist James Yate Johnson, and also the collections of lichens and fungi, organized by Father Jaime de Gouveia Barreto, were integrated into the Museum of Natural History of the Seminary.
In 1981, Father Manuel de Nóbrega began the installation of the estate of the former Diocesan Museum of Funchal, namely the collections of birds, fossils, rocks, minerals, invertebrate animals and other vertebrates in three rooms of the main building of the Botanical Garden of Madeira. This estate, owned by the Diocese of Funchal, was handed over to the custody of the Botanical Garden in 1982, being on display to the public since October 1 of that year.
The specimens are mostly identified, and the visitor can observe on the labels the common name, the scientific name, the family and the place where they were collected.
- Monday-Sunday: 9:00 – 18:00
- Pause/Interruption: December 25