São Roque do Faial

São Roque do Faial



The name of the civil parish owes its origin to an existing chapel, in the name of the patron saint of the festivity, São Roque (Saint Roque), which used to be part of Faial ecclesiastic parish. Thus, it became, São Roque do Faial.

As such, the patron saint of the civil parish is São Roque, and the first church was erected in 1551, at Chão da Ribeira. However, 1883, after a rainy season, the church was washed into the sea. Today, in that place, there is a replica, of the church, for reminiscence. The new church was erected higher up, on a brow, away from the threat of the stream.

The settlement took place in 1538, possibly with people from the north of Portugal, or even North Africa and the Canary islands. The civil parish creation charter dates back to July 24, 1848, during the reign of D. Maria II.

Historians believe that in the mountains of the parish, there was the predominance of the native cedar, an odoriferous and incorruptible wood. However, due to an excess trade by Madeira's colonizers in the 15th century, with which numerous works of art were made, as well as the marvellous ceiling work at the Funchal Cathedral (), today, this has become a protected species. There are accounts that state that there are still places in this civil parish that evoke this aromatic fragrance.

The activity of São Roque do Faial is diversified. Some people live off the land. However, for some time now, there has been a lot of engagement in trade, small manufacturing units and in the hotel and catering industry.

According to the 2001 census, São Roque do Faial had close to 1,000 inhabitants, in an area of 15.9 Km2, going from Pico do Areeiro all the way to the Ametade and São Roque do Faial streams.

São Roque do Faial is characterised by having mild temperatures all year round. During the winter temperatures do not drop below 14 º C (57 ºF) and in the summer they average 28 º C (82 ºF).


How to get there

From Funchal, take the freeway in the direction of Aeroporto (airport) and Machico. Follow the signposts to Porto da Cruz, either through the express way, which is quicker, or via the old Estrada Regional 101 (regional road). You pass Porto da Cruz before arriving at São Roque do Faial.

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