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P290 - Portugal - Funchal in Madeira

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago in the mid Atlantic Ocean that lies between 32°22.3′N 16°16.5′W and 33°7.8′N 17°16.65′W. It is one of the Autonomous regions of Portugal, with Madeira Island and Porto Santo Island being the only inhabited islands. Madeira is an archipelago with volcanic origins from a Hot Spot, so is not geographically part of a specific continent, but Madeira belongs and has belonged ethnically, culturally, economically and politically to Europe for 600 years despite being closer to Africa. Madeira is part of Portugal, so it is part of the European Union, as an Outermost Region.

Madeira was rediscovered by Portuguese sailors some time between 1418 and 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first discovery of the exploratory period initiated by Henry the Navigator of Portugal. It is a popular year-round resort, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, and embroidery artisans, as well as its New Year's Eve celebrations that feature a spectacular fireworks show, which is the largest in the world according to the Guinness World Records. Its harbour – Funchal – is important due to its commercial and passenger traffic and for being a major stopover for cruisers en route from Europe to the Caribbean.

Funchal, is the chief city of Madeira Island and is the capital and largest city of the Madeira Autonomous Region, Portugal. With its neighbouring boroughs (municipalities) of Camara de Lobos, Santa Cruz, Machico and Ribeira Brava it has over 150,000 inhabitants. It is the most populous Portuguese city outside mainland Portugal. The Funchal conurbation includes the cities of Funchal, Câmara de Lobos, Caniço and Santa Cruz, all on the south side of Madeira. Funchal has a unique location on the island: a natural "amphitheatre" surrounds the city, with gentle slopes beginning at the harbour and rising almost 1200 metres. This provides a natural shelter and was what attracted the first settlers. Funchal is a cosmopolitan and very panoramic city with several parks. There are many hotels, including deluxe properties. Funchal has been Madeira's capital for more than five centuries, and is said to have been so named because of the abundance of fennel growing there.







References sources : wikipedia

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