In the 18th century, the English Consul, Charles Murray, bought a property south of the church in "Monte" and transformed it into a beautiful estate, then called "Quinta do Prazer" (The Pleasure Estate). Towards the end of the 19th century, some of the wealthiest families of Madeira used to live in fine estates situated on the outskirts of Funchal.
In 1897, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues acquired the forenamed estate and, inspired by the palaces that he once saw on the margins of the Rhine River, he built a palace like residence which was later converted into a Hotel named the "Monte Palace Hotel".
This Hotel was visited by national and foreign eminent people who appreciated and enjoyed this lovely resort with its breathtaking view of Funchal and the natural surroundings.
In 1943, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues passed away. Unfortunately his family did not pursue his undertaking, consequently leading to the closing of the hotel which, in the meantime, was taken over by a financial institution, the "Caixa Económia do Funchal".
In 1987, that Financial Institution sold the Monte Palace Hotel to the entrepreneur José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo, who in turn donated it to the Foundation which he created and named after himself. This was how the "Monte Palace Tropical Gardens" was originated.
The garden is situated in the natural amphitheatre of Funchal (Madeira) and occupies an area of 7 hectares. Here visitors can observe the biodiversity of Madeira’s natural heritage in the form a Laurissilva Forest and also botanical specimens of several continents, with a special attention to an impressive collection of Cycads originating from South Africa.
The paths in the garden have been enriched with a tile collection from the 16th to 20th century, with coats of arms, stone works, windows, sculptures, niches, Buddhas and lanterns, among others. Along the garden, peacocks walk free, and in the main lake swans and ducks live in harmony with Koi fish.
Walking through the garden, you can admire the renowned ceramic tile collection (dating from 15th - 20th centuries), a panel of 166 terracotta glazed tiles entitled "The adventures of the Portuguese in Japan" and a group of 40 panels portraying the History of Portugal, including the most important events of the kingdoms and the Republics.
We hope that you will come and visit us here at the Garden but in case it is not possible, we have published this website to share this little bit of paradise at the Monte Palace Tropical Garden with you.
A museum has been built on the north part of the garden consisting of 3 floors, one for the exhibition, “Mother Nature’s Secrets”, displaying minerals and semi-precious stones and the other two are home to a collection of contemporary Zimbabwe stone sculptures entitled “African Passion”.
For more information visit : www.montepalace.com