The History of the Church of Curral Das Freiras:

The existence, since the middle of the 17th century, of a chapel in Curral das Freiras, occasionally equipped with a permanent chaplain, “meant that its population benefited from spiritual assistance and thus got used to, during those periods, some autonomy in relation to the parish of Santo António”.

However, with an increase in population, the importance of the parish verified throughout the 18th century and taking into account the distance from Santo António, the population began to express the will to transform Curral das Freiras into an autonomous parish.

This is how, on 11 May 1782, the Ministry of Royal Treasury, by letter from Alberto Rodrigues Lage, informed the bishop of Funchal that “the residents of Fajã dos Cardos and Ribeira das Freiras in the parish of Santo António, five leagues from the parish, having no spiritual pasture, sacraments and mass, they suffered with this great vexation, for which reason, they had requested and asked for the erection of a new parish”.

In that same year, most likely taking into account this request, Curral das Freiras began to have a parish service almost independent of the parish of Santo António.

However, the chapel of Santo António was degraded and did not offer conditions to serve as headquarters for the future parish, which is why, shortly afterwards, the construction of a new temple began.

On July 24, 1787, “by deed drawn up by the Notary Public, António Rodrigues da Câmara Costa, the monastery of Santa Clara do Funchal donates the necessary land for the construction of a new church, the parish residence and its passage .

Before Abbess Paula Luísa de Santa Teresa and a few other Sisters, Fr. Luís da Conceição, Provincial Custos, and a representative of the Diocese, Father Nicolau Francisco de Carvalho Maysingh”, a free donation license was signed, from the Convent of Santa Clara in favor of the Diocese: “By this instrument the Lordships grant license and provide the Hon. and Mitra of the portion of land, as necessary and necessary for the construction of the said church and the chaplain’s house of the said Corral, according to his budget, in the place where it is most useful and next to the Reverend Chaplain’s house, drop six bushels of land for their pass, this pass being a donation that they make to the Reverend Chaplain for the benefit of the residents of the same place, with only the Reverend Chaplains of the same place being obligatory to contribute each year, on Santa Clara Day, on the twelfth of August, a chicken for the six bushels of land from the aforementioned pass for recognition of the lordship of the same referred pass and future service in the knowledge of the benefit that the same monastery did to the said Reverend Chaplain”.

When the parish of Curral das Freiras was created, on March 17, 1790, under the invocation of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, the parish seat was installed in the church whose works had begun six years ago.

Although the date on which these works ended is not known, the year 1793 constitutes a reference, since in that year, as attested by the presence of an inscription on the cornice of the door, the church was dedicated, by the Queen D. Maria I, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin of Livramento.

Over the years, both the church and the rectory have been subject to restoration works, an example being the replacement of its tabernacle which took place around 1850.

In 1878, fearing being buried in the ruins of the parish house, the then parish priest of Curral das Freiras, probably José Teixeira Dória, had the parish house repaired at his own expense.

Between 1916 and 1918, “the interior of the parish church of Nossa Senhora do Livramento underwent major repairs.

Indeed, in November 1916, the new side altars were completed, which the respective confraternities had built in honor of Senhora do Livramento and the Sacred Heart of Jesus”.

The carving work, in the Renaissance style, “was entrusted to Manuel Inocêncio de Sousa and the painting to Mr. José Zeferino, popularly known as Cirilo”.

In March 1917, the carver Manuel Inocêncio de Sousa was executing, in his atelier on Rua Câmara Pestana, a high altar in Corinthian style for the church of Curral das Freiras.

In August 1938, the churchyard would be almost paved.

In 1952, with Father Alfredo Aires de Freitas as its parish priest, it was his intention to continue carrying out some restoration works, which he had begun the previous year.

In fact, “in 1951, the year that the parish had taken possession of, with the aim of satisfying the main aspiration of the people, it had acquired an artistic altar destined to Santo Antão, which was placed at the bottom of the new part of the church, ordered to be built by the Father Sardinha, his predecessor.

Its author was a master carver named Pimenta, born in Santo António, the work being painted by Alfredo Bernes”.

At the time, he was restoring the chancel of the church, “a work that would involve painting both the ceiling and the altar, renovating the stonework of the two side windows, the altar steps, the door that led to the sacristy and the arch of the cruise”.

A Mandatory stop.


♿ 🟠- Accessibility : Average ( Access To The Church With A Step, Access From The Road To The Church, Complicated, Steep Descent / Ascent, Surrounding Area With Problems On The Ground ).

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