The House of the Counts of Calçada

A 16th century urban manor house is the headquarters of the Frederico de Freitas House-Museum, where it is possible to see the pieces gathered by the collector

The present Frederico de Freitas House-Museum, once known as Casa da Calçada, has its origin in the residence ordered built by the Counts of Calçada, at the end of the XVI century. It is located on Calçada de Santa Clara, in an urban block in the historical centre of Funchal, near São Pedro Church, the Santa Clara Convent, and the Funchal Natural History Museum.

The property stands out for its dimensions and the colour used in its facades: red. Access is made by Calçada de Santa Clara, through an iron gate and a path with the traditional pebble paving and is a very important landmark of the urban civil architecture of the city of Funchal.

Its construction began in the late sixteenth century, by the Counts of Calçada. It is a wealthy romantic house, composed of several articulated bodies adapted to the topography of the land and that has suffered some additions and renovations over the years.

In the forties of the 20th century, it became the residence of the well-known lawyer and notary Frederico de Freitas, also a collector. It was there that he collected and kept an impressive set of works of art, such as sculpture, painting, furniture, and ceramics, among others, which he acquired throughout his life.

After his death, in 1978, Madeira receives, through a last will and testament, all this artistic legacy that constituted the house's filling.

Some time later, the Autonomous Region of Madeira acquired the property and restored it. It was adapted to house a museum where Frederico de Freitas' collections would be exhibited.

The museum was completed, in terms of building, in 1999, with the completion of the Casa dos Azulejos, which houses a vast and important collection of tiles.

The collection has pieces from the 17th to the 19th centuries, essentially European.