© Pedro Menezes
© Pedro Menezes
© Câmara Municipal do Porto Santo
© Neide Paixão
© Câmara Municipal do Porto Santo
© Élvio Sousa
© Susana Fontinha
© Élvio Sousa
© Francisco Fernandes
© António Aguiar
© Susana Fontinha
© Élvio Sousa
© Pedro Menezes
© Filipe Viveiros
© Élvio Sousa
© Pedro Menezes

Forts and Lookouts

 

THE FORT OF SAINT JOSEPH AND THE PEAK OF THE CASTLE 

The attacks of pirates and corsairs in this territory made defensive construction urgent. From the Peak of the Castle the remains of fifteenth century military buildings, which illustrate the concerns that the first captains had in the defence of the island, can be seen. A name of reference is Bartolomeu Perestrelo, knight of the house of the Infantes D. João and D. Henrique, named first captain of Porto Santo in 1446. This administration then became hereditary. The Fort of Saint Joseph is part of the defensive constructions of the island, and was later transformed into a dwelling. On the portal we can see the Royal Portuguese Arms, built in regional stonework, oval shaped, with a closed crown topped with the cross of Christ and on the border, seven towers instead of seven castles, pointing to the date of 1820. The portal is arched, resting on painted pilasters and opens onto a patio with five cannons in cast iron of English origin.

Fort of Saint Joseph Fort of the Peak of the Castle (c) Roberto Pereira

 

LOOKOUTS

In 1943 the Captaincy of the harbour of Funchal, in the midst of WWII, started construction on a network of lookouts on the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo and Desertas, to make it possible to control air and maritime traffic along the coast. At the same time, whale hunting began and the whalers took advantage of these structures to watch the whales. Currently there are still some archaeological remains of these structures made of brickwork and lime, in Pedregal.

 

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