Solar do Ribeirinho

Historic Building and Museum in Machico (Madeira)

Solar Do Ribeirinho, Madeira
CC BY-SA 4.0 / PESP/ Wikimedia

The Solar do Ribeirinho stands as a splendid example of classical civil architecture, representing a rural Madeiran landlady mansion constructed at the end of the 17th century. Commissioned by Captain Matias de Mendonça e Vasconcelos, a wealthy Morgado and ombudsman at Machico’s City Hall, the property boasts masonry stone and lime walls. It is a robust two-story building with a rectangular floor plan and a distinctive ship sighting tower, symbolizing the family’s economic, social, and political influence.

The main façade faces east and is characterized by its sober design, featuring three doors on the ground floor framed by regional stonework. On the upper floor, three large windows align with the doors, while the tower has three windows. All windows are sashed and adorned with traditional shutters, some equipped with “bilhardeiras” — movable parts allowing observation without being seen.

The ground floor accommodates a spacious kitchen with a large fireplace, six shops, a mill, and a wine cellar, all with dirt floors. A “hall” covered with checkered white and black tiles leads to a staircase ascending to the first floor. Currently serving as a museum since its inauguration on November 15th, 2007, this floor presents visitors with key references from the 600-year history of the first captaincy of the Portuguese Expansion. The entire building is whitewashed, and the reddish-coloured floor is complemented by a beloved roof set on double eaves of half-cane.

The courtyard is paved with cobblestones, featuring a stone bench on the right. Notably, in front of the kitchen door, there is a cistern that underwent archaeological work between 1998 and 2004.

In the nineteenth century, the “Clube Machikense” utilized the building, and in the post-April 25, 1974 era, it served as housing for families returning from former Portuguese colonies in Africa. Subsequently used as a warehouse for the City Hall, the manor underwent extensive restoration in 2004. In 2007, the Machico Museum Centre was established within its premises.


The Solar do Ribeirinho appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Machico (Madeira)!

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Visiting Solar do Ribeirinho

Hours:

Open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.


Price:

Adults: 1.50 Euros (Combined ticket, with entry to the Machico Museum Center – Solar do Ribeirinho and Parish Council Archaeological Center)

Address: Solar do Ribeirinho, Rua do Ribeirinho, Machico, Portugal
Duration: 30 minutes

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