Madalena do Mar

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Madalena do Mar
Civil Parish
Kostel Madalena do Mar.JPG
Central part of the coastal community of Madalena do Mar: the seat of the parish
Official name: Freguesia de Madalena do Mar
Country  Portugal
Autonomous Region  Madeira
Island Madeira
Municipality Ponta do Sol
Center Madalena do Mar
 - elevation 141 m (463 ft)
 - coordinates 32°42′32″N 17°8′2″W / 32.70889°N 17.13389°W / 32.70889; -17.13389Coordinates: 32°42′32″N 17°8′2″W / 32.70889°N 17.13389°W / 32.70889; -17.13389
Lowest point
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Area 2.07 km2 (1 sq mi)
Population 516 (2011)
Density 249/km2 (645/sq mi)
LAU Junta Freguesia
 - location Rua do IV Centenário
President Junta Sandra Cristina Soares Teixeira (PPD-PSD)
President Assembleia Roberto Silva Faria (PPD-PSD)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone 9360 - 415
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 291 XXX XXX
Patron Saint Santa Maria Madalena
Madalena do Mar is located in Madeira
Madalena do Mar
Location of the parish seat of Madalena do Mar in the municipality of Ponta do Sol, island of Madeira
Wikimedia Commons: Madalena do Mar
Statistics from INE (2001); geographic detail from Instituto Geográfico Português (2010)

Madalena do Mar is a civil parish in the municipality of Ponta do Sol in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. The population in 2011 was 516,[1] in an area of 2.07 km².[2]


By conjecture, the primitive community was referred to as Madalena or Santa Maria Madalena, and received its suffix from its location along the sea, in order to distinguish it from the parish and chapel of Santa Maria Madalena, in the parish of Porto Moniz (which was the centre of pilgrimages).[3] Even today, the area is still referred to as Madalena by many of the locals.[3]

The parish had its origin in a small farm and houses, including chapel (whose patron was Santa Maria Madalena, but yet invoked to the name of Santa Catarina.[3] From this origin, many noblemen concentrated into the area, as noted in Saudades da Terra by Gaspar Frutuoso:

"…Henrique Allemão, legendary person of the primitive times of colonization of this island of Madeira. Of him they said he was a Polish prince and that, having lost in 1444 a battle in Varna to Władysław III of Poland against Amurato II, he made a vow to travel the land as a knight onboard the carrack Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai. Arriving on the island of Madeira, João Gonçalo Zarco gave him, the area that was later called Madalena do Mar, a large unseeded plot of land, which was later confirmed by Infante Henrique on 29 April 1457, and by Afonso V on the 18 May os the same year. With effect, Henrique Allemão there founded a large populated farm, with chapel to the invocation of Santa Maria Madalena, which resulted in the localities name. He married the Lady Annes, and died disasteriously when he was crushed by falling rocks from Cabo Girão fell on his boat, as he returned from the city of Funchal to Madalena. His wife later married João Rodrigues de Freitas. Still now there is, above the village of Ponta do Sol, a Fajã do Allemão, that the people corruptly cultivate lemon."[3]


The coastal extent of Madalena do Mar: a strip of cultivated terrace-fields, with several buildings along the ravine and in the escarpment

This parish on the south-west coast of Madeira in the shadow of Canhas, and buttressed by the civil parish of Arco da Calheta, while fronting the Atlantic Ocean.

Madalena do Mar is a parish with a primary school.


The primary activity in the community is the cultivation of banana, with much of the land along the cliff faces occupied by terraced fields with rows of banana trees.


  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. ^ Eurostat
  3. ^ a b c d Junta Freguesia, ed. (2011). "História da Freguesia" [History of the Civil Parish] (in Portuguese). Madalena do Mar (Madeira), Portugal: Junta de Freguesia de Madalena do Mar.