We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Excellent guide and thought provoking ploace”

Santa Clara Monastery
Ranked #27 of 149 things to do in Funchal
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Down the hill we enter the massive gates of the convent, and are admitted behind the grilles which, pre 1890, demarcated the public part of the building from the enclosed nuns’ living and worship area. Today only 15 sisters remain, and they are free to mingle in society and to serve as they wish. But the reason the convent was built immediately is, presumably, that something had to be done with the “spare” women. The younger daughters with no dowry, the widows, the unwanted. All over Europe these buildings are a reminder that most of the women who lived in them over the centuries did not enter with a vocation, but for lack of anywhere else to go. What must these little girls in their early adolescence have thought as the inner doors were locked behind them-for the rest of their lives. Lots of gruesome paintings on the walls of suffering martyrs and tortured Christs, interspersed with idealised pictures of the Virgin Mary. Ha! But the gentle old guide today was herself one of the 15 contemporary sisters, and she exuded pride and love for her own place. mind you, the Order is no longer enclosed, so taking the veil no longer means entering a prison. Above all it is now a choice, not a sentence.

3  Thank emilymor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (347)
There are newer reviews for Santa Clara Monastery
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

163 - 167 of 347 reviews

Reviewed January 14, 2013

The tour which only cost 2 Euro, was lead by a very elderly nun. She showed us through the ancient church and parts of the monastery, we saw some religious art dating back to the 15th Century whilst some of the most recent things were from the 17th Century.

Thank mikeb1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

very interesting tour, spoke perfect English and for the one French speaking person in our group everything was repeated in perfect (i believe!) French.

Thank Moe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

It's a steep walk up the hill from Funchal but well worth it. You step back in time. The guides speak several languages and are informative and interesting.

1  Thank Philippa070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2012

For 2 euros a guide showed us around the buildings in the compound. From the street it looks like nothing but do take the time for the small guidede Tour - you Will see many original art pieces and prayer rooms. Children seem to be welcome too, and it is not too Big or boring for Them.

Thank Mikkel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Santa Clara Monastery also viewed

 

Been to Santa Clara Monastery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing