Matriz de Machico (Nossa Senhora da Conceição) Church

Church in Machico (Madeira)

Nossa-Senhora-da-Conceição-Church Machico Madeira
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Oldřich Čepelka

The main church of Machico, Matriz de Machico church, dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceição, has a rich history dating back to the first quarter of the 15th century. By 1460, it had already been established as a parish church with its first pastor, João Garcia. The church’s construction is believed to have been initiated by the people and its donee captain, explaining its lack of the crown’s coat of arms seen in older churches.

In 1485, D. Manuel I, then Duke of Beja, donated three white marble columns to the church, placed in the side portico (Porta da Travessa). Legend has it that D. Manuel I also gifted the church the image of the “Immaculate Conception,” known as the “Virgin of D. Manuel,” crafted in a Flemish workshop. This image is now housed in the Museum of Sacred Art in Funchal.

The church comprises three interior chapels. The oldest is the Chapel of S. João Batista, commissioned by Tristão Vaz Teixeira, the 2nd donee captain of Machico, in 1496. The Chapel of the Three Kings, built by D. Branca Teixeira in the late 15th century, housed an altarpiece representing the “Adoration of the Magi” until the 16th century, now displayed in the Arte Sacra Museum in Funchal. Another chapel, Espírito Santo, constructed by Sebastião de Morais in the mid-16th century, features two oil paintings on wood, “Holy Trinity” and “Pentecost.”

In 1747, the main church of Machico was praised for its grandeur and quality, comparing favorably to the Cathedral of Funchal. Notably, the altarpiece, chair, and organ contribute to its grand appearance. The altarpiece of the main altar, carved between 1675 and 1698, includes a tondo with the Holy Trinity and four niches representing the four evangelists. The carvings and sculptures are attributed to Manuel Pereira or his nephew Manuel Pereira de Almeida.

The sacristy features polychrome tiles from the 16th century with a rare camellia pattern in Madeira. Six tombstones at the main entrance identify wealthy individuals from Machico, showcasing historical inscriptions.

A notable painting on canvas from the 18th century, depicting the “Tree of Jessé,” is found on the left wall of the church entrance. The south facade houses the chapel of Nossa Senhora do Terço, now the Machico Treasury Room, built by the people in 1770.


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Visiting Matriz de Machico (Nossa Senhora da Conceição) Church

Hours:

09:00 to 19:00


Address: Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Alameda Dr. António Teixeira de Oliveira nº1 9200-107 Machico Portugal
Duration: 30 minutes

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