The empress street

The current Imperatriz D. Amelia Street once had another name and a different layout

It was one of the main exits of Funchal in a western direction and would pass between houses and gardens of some of the most respected and wealthy families of Madeira and was called Rua das Angústias (Anguish Street), because part of the route passed near the Chapel of Angústias, which existed in the lands of the Morgado Diogo da Costa Quintal.

It gained prominence and even greater importance when in August 1852, the dowager

Empress of Brazil D. Amélia and her daughter, Princess D. Maria Amélia, settled in this area, in Quinta das Angústias, in search of the good climate of Madeira, to try to improve the health of the princess, who suffered from a serious lung disease.

Unfortunately, the princess did not recover and died in February 1853, but living with the harsh reality of this disease led the Empress to commit herself to creating a hospice for the treatment of this disease, a building that still exists today, near the estate where the princess spent her last days.

The story of this princess contributed a lot to the romanticist period in Madeira, where the great aristocratic families and several important European personalities, according to some authors, came to the island for treatment of respiratory diseases due to the good climate of the island.


Rua das Angústias would change its name. It would be called Imperatriz D. Amélia, but it would lose part of its route in the 1930s, with the opening of Avenida do Infante, precisely in the part where there are links to the empress.

But most of the street continued to be called Imperatriz D. Amélia. It is still an artery with a residential component, but also a touristic one. The memory of the old Savoy Hotel, built here in the 20's and 30's of the 20th century and twice rebuilt since, deserves a special reference.

But today the empress street, the simple way it is known by many, is a leisure-oriented space, with several restaurants and bars, and where we can identify signs of buildings from previous eras, such as Quinta da Penha de França, whose chapel dates back to the 17th century. In one of the annex buildings, facing the street, there is a reproduction in a tile panel of a painting by Max Römer, a German painter who settled in Madeira. It is a painting of a 19th century fountain, which still exists precisely in this street.