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Housed in a former bishop's palace, this museum houses an extensive
collection of masterpieces by Flemish artists from the 15th and 16th
centuries. The museum also contains church artifacts spanning the 15th-18th centuries, including metalwork of silver and gold, with crystal and precious stone inlays, painted wooden carvings, ceremonial robes and other sacred art objects.
The Flemish paintings came to Madeira from Flanders during the years of sugar trading. They were either given as payment, or produced especially on the request of wealthy Madeiran merchants. It wasn't until the 20th century that all these valuable paintings were collected, from the various churches all over Madeira, and brought together for better preservation and exhibition.