Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

Castle in Machico (Madeira)

Forte De Nossa Senhora Do Amparo, Machico, Portugal
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Alberto-g-rovi

The Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo, situated at Largo Dr. José António d’Almeida / Rua do Mercado / Alameda dos Plátanos, is a distinctive structure of military architecture. Designated as Property of Public Interest (Dec.30/762 of 9/26/40), this isolated building holds historical significance.

The fort was erected in 1706 by Captain Francisco Dias Franco, who served as the registrar of the City Council of Machico, as indicated by a commemorative plaque. Architecturally, it takes the form of a triangular structure with a “two-phased redoubt” design. Notably, a third face is oriented toward the ground, featuring a tunnel entrance. Access to the terrace is provided by a stone staircase connected to this entrance.

The Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo stands as a testament to the military history of the region, showcasing the strategic architectural elements implemented during its construction in the early 18th century. Its designation as a Property of Public Interest further underscores its cultural and historical value.

The Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo features facades adorned with merlons accented by prominent strings in insular masonry. The facade facing the ground is characterized by a portal crafted in rigid stonework, boasting a perfectly executed back arch and crowned with a baroque pediment. Within this pediment, there is a commemorative tombstone inscribed with the foundation of the fort, surmounted by the national arms, all meticulously carved in regional stonework.

The fort’s esplanade is partially landscaped and paved with rolled pebble, enhanced by the presence of iron cannons. These cannons, originating from ships that passed through the island, are no longer functional but contribute to the fort’s historical ambiance.

Over the years, the Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo has served various purposes, including acting as the Post of the Fiscal Guard, a Tourist Office, and the Office of Culture of the Municipality of Machico. Currently, it houses the Madeira European Office and serves as the Machico Municipal Assembly Headquarters, adding a contemporary function to its rich historical significance.

The Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Machico (Madeira)!

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Visiting Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo

Address: Forte de Nossa Senhora do Amparo, Machico, Portugal
Duration: 10 minutes

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