The Parish Church of Caniço, as its name says, is located in the Parish of Caniço.
It is one of the oldest parishes in Madeira, whose creation dates back to the years 1438/40. It was a land covered with sedges when it was found, its name being a corruption of the sedge plant.
Its first settlers were Ornelas, Gaviões, Salvagos de Genoa, Regos, Martins and others. Ribeira do Caniço was the dividing line between the two captaincies of Funchal and Machico, Ponta da Oliveira being the name of a stake from that tree brought from the mainland to serve as a dividing mark between the two captaincies of Madeira.
Until the end of 1835, this parish belonged to the Municipality of Funchal, and in that year it was incorporated into the Municipality of Santa Cruz, whose town is 8 kilometers away. At first, it had two churches: one on the left bank of the Ribeira, dedicated to Santo Antão; another on the right bank, of the invocation of the Holy Spirit, both, however, with the same parish priest.
Father José Lomelino Barreto, who was a parish priest there for more than 40 years, offered the land for the construction of the current Church, successor to the other two primitive ones, which fell into ruin.
The first stone of the current parish church was blessed on August 2, 1779, and the new Church was solemnly blessed on October 28, 1783. The tombstone that is preserved on the frontispiece reads as follows: “Sancto Spiritui Paraclito atque divo António Abbati sacrum Maria 1.ª lusitan, regina fidelis equestris D. N. J. C. ordinis gubernat aedificavit: insulano tribunali regio curante. Anno CIC.IDCCLXXX regni autem IIII”. 2004: by Manuel Ferreira Pio, Santa Cruz da Ilha da Madeira, p.19, Funchal, 1967 )
A Mandatory stop.
♿ 🟠- Accessibility: Medium (Access to the Church Has Two Steps, Which Can Be Very Complicated For Some Equipment).