Fort of São Bento

Tourist Office and Tower in Ribeira Brava (Madeira)

Ribeira Brava, Madeira
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Karelj

The Fort of São Bento or Fort of Saint Benedict, dating back to the 18th century, was constructed under the governance of Duarte Pereira Sodré in 1708 to safeguard the coastline and harbour, primarily against pirate invasions. Historical records from 1815 mention the fort being in a state of disrepair. Restoration and beautification efforts began in 1916, with the results evident today on the approach to the village of Ribeira Brava. The fort features a small circular tower topped by a crenulated terrace and a guardhouse. Its main north-facing façade is distinguished by a portal with a Roman arch, crowned with national emblems and weaponry. On the side facing the sea, a niche holds an image of Saint Benedict.

By 1920, the fort had transitioned to a new role, leased to the local Municipal Council for use as a prison. Now, seamlessly integrated into the village’s visual landscape, it serves as a Tourist Information Centre, blending historical significance with contemporary utility.


The Fort of São Bento appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Ribeira Brava (Madeira)!

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Visiting Fort of São Bento

Address: Fort of São Bento, Rua Gago Coutinho e Sacadura Cabral, Ribeira Brava, Portugal
Duration: 20 minutes

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