This small parish perched up in the hills overlooking Funchal, 6 km away from the centre of the capital, was formerly a health resort for Europe's high society.
One of its long lost features was a rack railway, which connected Monte with Funchal. Unfortunately, due to a shortage of steel to help fuel the war against the Nazis in the Second World War, the track was dismantled and the train taken out of service. Vestiges of the railway can still be seen today, particularly at the bottom of the hill where the original base station still exists.
One of the most traditional feasts, and certainly the largest, is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which takes place on the 15th of August. It is incredible the amount of people who pay reverence to the Virgin Mary of Monte. If you are on the island at this time of the year, you might like to go up there and get your own impressions.
The Austrian Emperor Charles I found exile on the island after having abdicated during the First World War. He and his family stayed in the historic ‘Quinta do Monte’, but only six months after his arrival, he died of pneumonia. The ex-monarch was buried in the famous pilgrimage church ‘Nossa Senhora do Monte’ situated at the top of an impressive flight of stairs.