The church of Matriz da Ribeira Brava is one of the places that we can visit, since its access is easy.

The place where religious artefacts are displayed is not accessible.

It is a building from the 16th century, one of the oldest rural temples in the Diocese of Funchal and one of the most visited on the island, classified as a Property of Public Interest.

Originally from a small chapel dedicated to São Bento, from the second or third quarter of the 15th century – the parish was created around 1440, although not in the strict sense of the term, which, according to some historians, only happened around 1440. 1460 – the parish church of Ribeira Brava, parish headquarters and former collegiate church, is located in the center of the city, having undergone several interventions over time.

This church has Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque characteristics and houses a rich collection of painting, sculpture, goldwork and gilded carving from the 15th century – when the altarpiece of São Bento was made in the workshops of Francisco Henriques, in Évora – from the 16th century (retable of the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, the original of which is on display in Arte Sacra) and from the 17th century.

It is therefore one of the most important collections of heritage in the region, and its treasure has even been exhibited at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels.

António Marinho Matos says about this temple in his work dedicated to this parish that it is “a majestic building in sight and spirit”.

Not so much from the outside, because the church is currently surrounded by large constructions that overshadow its grandeur.

But inside it is edifying and majestic and, despite having been transformed over the last few centuries, it is today one of the most interesting heritage and artistic ensembles on the island of Madeira”.

He continues: “Many people enter this Temple and are amazed by its beauty.

Witness to this human and Christian movement is the multitude of faithful, believers or simple visitors who visit its interior every day”.

In fact, among other interesting features, this church has magnificent chandeliers; a collection of silverware from the 16th and 17th centuries; a monumental image of Our Lady of the Rosary, of Flemish production, dating from around 1520; and panels of Flemish origin representing the Virgin and Child, from the beginning of the 16th century, of Nossa Senhora, São Bento and São Bernardo, attributed to Francisco Henriques, proof of the splendor of the sugar industry.

The chancel is dominated by a magnificent altarpiece in gilded and polychrome woodwork from the late 17th century.
The wealth of this church was, and is, such that the former parish priest, Father Gil, gathered objects that were kept in one of the annexes of the parish, which gave rise to the Museu da Igreja Matriz with a collection of silverware from the 16th century.

The small museum has a guide who can help you better understand the collection on display and admission is free.
The Igreja Matriz da Ribeira Brava is one of the places that we can visit, since its access is easy.

This chapel underwent several changes and repairs until the current parish church was built.

It is one of the oldest rural temples in this diocese, having undergone several additions and modifications, but its first construction must not be later than the second half of the 16th century.

However, an analysis of the existing church today leads to the conclusion that it was a small temple with an interesting pre-Manueline portal, in principle, today placed as the entrance door to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

It is a portal with three Gothic archivolts, equipped with historic capitals, virtually unparalleled on the island. On the other hand, the work on the baptismal font and the pulpit in the main church can be attributed to this small Manueline school, and the inscription on the font indicates that it was a gift from King Manuel I.

Having S. Bento as patron saint, the church has a portal with three Gothic archivolts, with historical capitals, practically unmatched on the island.

Its construction dates back to the 16th century, and it was modified over the centuries until it reached the current building.

Inside, the church has three main altars: the main altar and two side altars. The main altar has a magnificent gilded and polychrome altarpiece from the late 17th century, attributed to the workshop of Manuel Pereira de Almeida, who was also responsible for the other two altars.

In the interesting group of images, you can also find a monumental image of Our Lady of the Rosary, of Flemish production, perhaps from the Antwerp workshops, dating from around 1520.

The parish church also has a magnificent tablet attributed to the Flemish painter, Francisco Henriques, representing Our Lady. S. Bento and S. Bernardo.

Inside, we can find Manueline works such as the capitals, the pulpit of the Matriz and the baptismal font (gift of King Manuel I), as well as a small nucleus with a collection of 66 pieces, in which there are silver candlesticks, crowns, sticks, crosses, chalices, cauldrons and other silver objects dating from the 16th and 17th centuries.

A Mandatory stop.


♿ 🟠- Accessibility : Average ( Access to the church without problems, No access to religious artefacts, Surrounding area with problems on the floor ).

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