Postal da Minha Freguesia

Capela de N. Sra da Consolação

Imaculado Coração de Maria – Funchal

In the heart of Imaculado Coração de Maria parish, the Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação stands as a beacon of faith and community. Located at the crossroads of Rua da Levada de Santa Luzia and Rua da Torrinha, this historic chapel has been a significant part of the parish’s spiritual and community life since its inception.

The Imaculado Coração de Maria parish, established in 1954, has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. The growth of Funchal along the Ribeira de Santa Luzia and the Monte Railway led to the expansion of settlement along rural roadways, causing the creation of new industries and further settlement. Meanwhile, along the coast of Funchal, new groups of residential and leisure-related activities, with parks and exotic gardens, began to replace older rural activities.

Dr. Fernão Ornelas, a prominent figure in Funchal’s development, played a significant role in the parish’s growth. In the 1940s, he spearheaded a profound renovation of Funchal, modernizing the city’s infrastructure to complement the tourist industry. New construction, alterations to improve accessibility, the paving of new roadways, new administrative buildings, hotels, and waterworks were all part of his vision to support the increasing number of services along the coast.

The Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação, originally erected in the 17th century, has undergone several transformations over the centuries. The chapel, with its Baroque architectural style, features a single nave and a chancel, reflecting the community’s deep-rooted faith and commitment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Throughout the 20th century, particularly during the Romagens, the chapel served as a focal point for significant community gatherings, drawing a large population where locals would set up small businesses selling homemade liqueurs and sweets from opened garages. This tradition of communal gathering and commerce added a vibrant and dynamic element to the chapel’s cultural and social significance within the community.

The Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação’s historical evolution from its original construction to its reconstruction in the 19th century reflects the enduring presence of faith and community in the area. As a Baroque architectural masterpiece, this chapel not only stands as a place of worship but also as a symbol of cultural heritage and communal unity for the residents of the Imaculado Coração de Maria parish.
The chapel’s role as a hub for social interactions and commerce during the Romagens highlights its adaptive nature, transforming from a place of religious devotion to a center of community life and economic activity. This historical context adds depth to the chapel’s significance, showcasing its multifaceted role in the lives of the local population over the centuries.

In the words of António Lobo Antunes, the renowned Portuguese novelist and retired medical doctor, “A church is a place where the soul of a community is reflected.” The Capela de Nossa Senhora da Consolação, with its rich history and deep-rooted connection to the community, is a testament to the enduring spirit of faith and unity in Imaculado Coração de Maria parish.

Roberto Silva

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