Located in San Pedro Palace, the Natural History Museum of Funchal was opened in 1933. Throughout the ages, this space has played various roles, but it was after your purchase by the municipality of Funchal here began operating the municipal library of Funchal, the regional museum of regional archive and timber wood. Today, this palace – one of the most significant works of the eighteenth century – does the Natural History Museum of Funchal, the scientific library, the famous Aquarium and the garden city of aromatic and medicinal plants.
Nestled in the heart of Funchal, Madeira, the Natural History Museum stands as a testament to the island’s rich biodiversity and natural heritage. Housed in the historic Palace of St. Pedro, a significant work of Portuguese civil architecture from the mid-eighteenth century, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the flora, fauna, and geology of Madeira.
A Palace with a History
The Palace of St. Pedro was once the residence of the Carvalhal family, with a lineage that includes the 1st Earl of Carvalhal, João José Vasconcelos Xavier Carvalhal Esmeraldo de Atouguia Bettencourt Sá Machado (1778-1837). The palace has seen various transformations, including serving as the Carolina Sheffield Hotel and the College of St. George.
In 1929, the city of Funchal purchased the palace, and it became the home of the Natural History Museum, embracing not only Natural History but also Ethnology and Archaeology.
Collections and Exhibits
The museum’s collections are vast and diverse, featuring 78 fish species, 247 birds, 14 land mammals, marine reptiles, insects, invertebrates, rocks, minerals, and marine fossils. The study collections currently reach more than 37,500 specimens.
Under the patronage of Charles L. Rolland, the Aquarium was added in 1953, representing the most important elements of coastal marine fauna of Madeira. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of the region.
The museum’s specialized library has been formed through exchanges with other organizations, providing a valuable resource for researchers and enthusiasts alike.
Education and Outreach
The Teaching Section of the Municipal Museum of Funchal (Natural History) was founded in 1990 to promote the dissemination of information resulting from research activities. It focuses on school populations at all levels of education, providing knowledge and motivation for the study of the natural history of the archipelago.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and is located at Rua da Mouraria nº 31, 9004-546 Funchal. Adult tickets are €3.91, with discounts for pensioners, children, and youth cardholders.
The Natural History Museum of Funchal is more than a repository of specimens; it’s a living connection to Madeira’s natural heritage. From its historic setting to its diverse collections and educational outreach, the museum invites visitors to explore, learn, and appreciate the natural wonders of Madeira. Whether you’re a scientist, a student, or simply curious about the natural world, the museum offers an enriching experience that resonates with all ages.
Collections of study of this important museum currently reach over 41,166 copies. Are exposed 78 species of fish, 247 birds, 14 land mammals and marine, 3 marine reptiles, 152 species of insects and other invertebrates, 19 plants and even a collection of rocks and minerals of the archipelago. Entry: € 3.66; pensioners and children (11-17 years): € 1.66. Sundays and holidays are free. Address: Street Moorish quarter, 31, 9004-546 Funchal Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12:00 to 18:00.