São Bento Church, Ribeira Brava

Church in Ribeira Brava (Madeira)

Igreja De São Bento, Ribeira Brava (Madeira, Portugal)
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Joãofcf

The São Bento Church, located in the parish of Ribeira Brava, is not only one of the oldest rural temples in the Diocese of Funchal but also among the most visited religious sites in Madeira. This revered church, a monument classified as Property of Public Interest, is a must-visit on the island’s west coast.

Dating back to the 16th century, the São Bento Church evolved from a small chapel that originally stood there in the 15th century. Over the years, it has seen numerous transformations, yet it still retains a variety of architectural styles, including Manueline, Mannerist, and Baroque elements.

Situated on Rua dos Camachos, this significant historical site houses an exceptional collection of art and artifacts from the 16th and 17th centuries, including paintings, sculptures, goldsmithery, and gilded woodcarvings. Its cultural and historical value is so profound that its treasures have been exhibited at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, highlighting its importance far beyond regional boundaries.

The interior of the São Bento Church is equally impressive. Visitors are often captivated by the chandeliers and the exquisite collection of silver pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries. Noteworthy is the image of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, dating back to 1520, and the Flemish panels adorned with biblical motifs. The chancel is dominated by a striking 18th-century altarpiece, featuring intricately gilded and polychrome woodcarvings. These elements together make São Bento Church not just a place of worship, but a repository of some of the most significant heritage of the region.


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

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Visiting São Bento Church, Ribeira Brava

Address: Igreja Matriz da Ribeira Brava / Igreja de São Bento, Ribeira Brava, Portugal
Duration: 20 minutes

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