THE JESUIT COLLEGE OF FUNCHAL - 450 YEARS
October 18, 2019, to January 31, 2020
The Sacred Art Museum of Funchal (MASF) and the Academic Association of the University of Madeira jointly marked the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the Jesuit College of Funchal, through an exhibition set up in the temporary exhibition hall of the Museum. The inauguration was held on the 17th, at 6 pm, symbolically opening to the public on October 18, the National Day of Cultural Assets of the Church.

This exhibition was attended by the commissioner, Professor Rui Carita, who, over several decades, has devoted himself to studying the College of Funchal and the presence of the Society of Jesus in Madeira.

The Jesuit College complex, which is part of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, a classified national heritage, has been an indelible presence in the city of Funchal for more than four centuries of history, not only as a striking building in the urban network, but also as a pole, always alive and dynamic, in the various functions that it has served, over time, in favourable or adverse contexts.

The Jesuit College was founded on August 20, 1569. The building, while housing various institutions, has always been linked to teaching and currently houses the rectory of the University of Madeira. The work of the Académica da Madeira in the College began in 2012 with various cultural initiatives, including educational visits, exhibitions, musical soirees, tourist circuits and even a commercial space, which contributed to the dissemination of the history of this building.

In 2016, the College was integrated into the Madeiran Heritage programme promoted by the Académica in order to disseminate the material and intangible heritage of Madeira.

Through this exhibition, organized into five groupings – "1- The Founding of the Society of Jesus (1534)"; "2- The Society's installation in Funchal"; "3- The life of the College of Funchal"; "4- The College Barracks"; "5- Education and Civil Education" – the MASF and the Académica, under the guidance of Professor Rui Carita, offered visitors a journey through the principal moments of this former college of the Society of Jesus, reconstituting the troubled contexts of the founding and installation, up to the expulsion of the Jesuits from Madeira, as well as the various military, civil and cultural uses that have brought it to us today as a living space.
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