One of the oldest churches on Madeira
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.
Carved double doors lead into the chapel.
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.
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.
There are two smaller altars with reredos on the side walls of the nave.
At the back of the name are statues of two saints, including St Peter the Apostle holding the key to Heacen. .
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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