Funchal Churches - Capela do Corpo Santo

One of the oldest churches on Madeira

Dating from the late C15th, this is one of the oldest chapels on Madeira. It is dedicated to Sao Pedro Gonçalves Telmo, the patron saint of fishermen. It also served as an infirmary for local fishermen and their families and offered support to families of fishermen lost at sea. In the old town, it is easy to miss as it is tucked away between Rua Santa Maria and Rua D. Carlos I which runs parallel but closer to the sea.

It is a simple whitewashed building with a small dark basalt bell cot.

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

Carved double doors lead into the chapel.

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

Coming in from the bright sunlight, the inside of the chapel seems dark at first as there is only a small window high in the wall and most of the light comes in through the double doors.

The inside is equally as simple with whitewashed walls and wood ceiling in the nave, although the chancel ceiling is painted. There are paintings hanging on the chancel walls.

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

The altar and reredos were rebuilt in the early C17th and occupy all of the east wall. The painting in the centre of teh reredos represents St Peter blessing a small sailing ship.

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

There are two smaller altars with reredos on the side walls of the nave.
Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal            Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

The painted pulpit is mounted high on the nave wall and reached up a long wooden ladder. Near it is the processional cross.

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal      Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

At the back of the name are statues of two saints, including St Peter the Apostle holding the key to Heacen. .

Capela do Corpo Sante, Funchal

In many ways there isn’t a lot to see, but it is a charming small chapel and well worth stopping to have a look inside.

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