The History and Culture of Europe, shared with you by our European volunteers!

11 de Junho de 2018.

Saint John the Evangelist church

The church is built in mannerism and baroque style. The Saint John the Evangelist church, or college church, was built in the seventeenth and eighteenth century after the Jesuits college was built. It is, for me at least, one of the most impressive monuments in Funchal. In the 16th century, the Jesuits came to Madeira. They came to the Island because the island was invaded by French protestant pirates. Jesuits are part of the Society of Jesus, this Catholic order emphasizes on Education. Because of this, the Jesuits were the perfect chosen ones to convert the people in the island. The Jesuits college was built in the sixteenth century under the order of king Sebastian and right after that, the […]
7 de Junho de 2018.

Pillory of Funchal

The pillory: the macabre symbol of justice in old Europe and Portugal. On my tours, through the city of Funchal, I often pass the pillory of Funchal and explain its history because it is an important monument to understand the past of the city. The pillory was a device used all over Europe and has its roots in the medieval times. It was either made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing the head and hands or, like the pillory of Funchal a stone column formerly used for punishment by public humiliation and often further physical abuse. In Portugal, a pillory is called a Pelourinho and often classified as national monuments since they […]
4 de Junho de 2018.

The Cathedral of Funchal

Sé parish is considered to be the second oldest quarter in Funchal. The Sé parish is located between the Cathedral and Ribeiro de João Gomes, the area where the sugar merchants settled in the 15th century. The constructions of the Cathedral started 1493 by the orders of Duke Manuel of Beja and Viseu, who later became the King Manuel I of Portugal. It was built on a sugarcane field, which was donated by the soon-to-be king Manuel I. The Cathedral was finished in 1517. It is built with tufa stones, which were brought by boats from Cabo Girão. The street to the sea in front of the Cathedral, and also behind it, was made into waterways, so the boats could […]
25 de Maio de 2018.

Erich Kästner

Many of his publications were made into movies. The author Erich Kästner is well known for his various works, such as novels, poems and texts for cabarets. His story began in Dresden, where he was born in 1899. At the age of 18 he joined the German military to fight in the First World War and returned with severe heart problems. After leaving the military, he decided to go back to school and start university soon after. During that time he found his passion for writing. Kästner moved to Berlin and started publishing time critical and political satirical poems, of which the National Socialists did not approve. The Nazis burned several works of bourgeois moral, militarism and fascism but also […]
22 de Maio de 2018.

Harry Mulisch

If you want the best Dutch literary work, try Harry Mulisch A while ago I was a little bored. Quite bored actually, so I decided that I wanted to read a book. However, I wanted to try and read something in Dutch because I noticed that being here in Madeira and only talking and reading English made me lose some of my Dutch vocabulary. At first I wanted to go back to one of my childhood favourites, ‘Crusade in jeans’, but I wanted to try something else and read a more ‘literary’ work to freshen up my language skills. Harry Kurt Victor Mulisch was the son of an Austrian-Hungarian father who worked with the Nazis and a German-Jewish mother and […]