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Curral das Freiras – Festivities and History

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Festivities and Pilgrimages

•Our Lady of Deliverance (last Sunday of August)
•Blessed Sacrament (penultimate Sunday of August)
•Chestnut Festival (November 1st)

Patrimony

• Mother Church

Other Locations

• Eira do Serrado Viewpoint
• Levada de S. Martinho or Nova Curral and Castelejo

Collectivities

• Curral das Freiras People’s House
• Curral das Freiras Sports Club
• Curral das Freiras Folklore Group
• Refugio da Freira Association

Parish

• Corral of the Nuns

 

Story

Located in the interior of the island, in a deep valley surrounded by mountains, Curral das Freiras is about 20 kilometers from the town hall of Câmara de Lobos. It is crossed by the stream of Socorridos. In the early days of colonization it was known as Curral, perhaps for being the center of abundant grazing cattle and goats. Around 1480, he bought João Gonçalves da Câmara, Funchal’s second donee captain, Rui Teixeira, all terms ranging from Passo da Cruz and Ribeira dos Socorridos to where this river is born. These lands were the dowry that later made to their daughters D. Elvira and D. Joana, when they professed in the convent of Santa Clara, which gave new name to the place. In 1566, attacked the island by the French Huguenots, the nuns fled to the Curral das Freiras, where they were kept for a few weeks. By the mid-16th century, Curral das Freiras was already famous for honey bees, considered the best on the island, where the name of Colmeal given to one of the parish sites, and also known for the many and varied fruit: orange, lemon, sour cherry, red and black cherry, chestnut, pomegranate, plums and especially cider, which was a profitable business for the nuns of Santa Clara, for the great export they made of these fruits. The production of nuts was so high that it was sold at 4 reis a bushel. Wine production was also considerable. Curral das Freiras was an integral part of the parish of Santo António do Funchal until 1790, the year in which it was disbanded and became an autonomous parish. Its headquarters were located in the chapel of St. Anthony, which belonged to the nunnery of Santa Clara. The isolation of this place, located in the interior of the island and the great distance to the parish of Santo António, were advising the creation of a parish in view of the population that was forming there, when the royal charter of 17 March 1790 came to satisfy this need with the establishment of a branch curato of Santo António, but that soon had independent parish forums. The parish belonged to the municipality of Funchal until 1835, when it was incorporated in Câmara de Lobos. The time of the construction of the chapel of St. Anthony, which should date from the first quarter of the eighteenth century, is unknown. There remained the headquarters of the new parish until the early nineteenth century, when the current temple was built. It underwent remarkable repairs in the years 1917 and 1918.
The primitive core of Curral das Freiras, isolated from the rest of the world, with only its almost inaccessible paths, grew in number and importance and dreamed of better access. Such a dream came true on June 18, 1962, with the inauguration of the road that now connects the parish with Funchal, greatly contributing to its development.

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