Fortress of São Tiago

Castle in Funchal (Madeira)

Forte De São Tiago - Funchal
CC BY-SA 3.0 / H. Zell

Constructed in the early 17th century to defend against consecutive corsair attacks on Funchal, the Fortress of São Tiago stands as a prominent historical site. Strategically perched above the seafront in the Zona Velha (Old Town), this fortress began construction in 1614 under the guidance of Reais Jerónimo Jorge, the royal master builder, later completed by his son, Bartolomeu João.

Throughout the centuries, the fortress underwent various renovations and served diverse purposes, including acting as the headquarters for British troops, the Army Police, and a shelter for flood victims in 1803. In 1992, it transformed into the Contemporary Art Museum until its relocation to Casa das Mudas in Calheta in 2015.

Today, the Fortress of São Tiago provides visitors with a captivating journey through Madeira’s history, offering a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Fortress of São Tiago appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Funchal (Madeira)!

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Visiting Fortress of São Tiago


Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.



Address: Forte de São Tiago, Travessa do Forte, Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 20 minutes

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