Dracaena draco is an endemic plant that used to cover the southern coast of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo. Its sap, in contact with air, oxidizes and becomes red as blood. This “dragon’s blood” was used as a dye in pharmaceuticals and dyeing since the 15th century, and its demand and export led to the near extinction of the dragon tree.
The garden is the ideal place for a journey through three centuries of history and urban architecture in color. The restored 18th century building was painted with a lime-based paint in ocher, a recurring color in Madeira’s fortresses. The pink, common in Madeiran quintas (estates), was maintained in the library area to preserve the color already present in this part of the building.
Also on display are some bottles of “Zeca” wine, the nickname by which the hotel’s founder, José Nicolau Fernandes Correia, is known. 300 numbered bottles of this commemorative wine were produced for Mr. Zeca’s 80th birthday.
On the upper floor of the print shop in Rua das Pretas (1950s) was the warehouse of Casa Pathé, a store for various goods, especially photography and music, located in Rua Câmara Pestana. These are some of the objects recovered from this warehouse.
The artist created to order a “baker” in oil on wood, which she named Guiomar for personal reasons. Curiously, at Rua do Castanheiro No. 20 lived Dona Guiomar Madalena de Sá e Vilhena (1705-1789), heiress of the family business that she managed and grew since 1766.
This room divider, commissioned from the painter Filipa Venâncio, consists of six panels (I-VI, from left to right), each with three images (1-3, from top to bottom), representing the old Madeira, such as traditional means of transport, sports activities or important events that marked the history of the island. The work is a reproduction by the artist based on photographs of the time.
The stone arch and ceiling stem from a building from the 18th century. There was a bakery here with ovens that were probably located outside. Two of these ovens still exist. However, today they can be found in the library (deactivated) and in the garden (in the original form).
The til (stinkwood) and the Laurel Forest (Laurissilva)
The foot of the table is half the trunk of an old til (Ocotea foetens), a tree species that is one of the three character species (Barbusano, Til (Stinkwood), and Vinhático (Madeira mahogany)) of Madeira’s Laurissilva forest.
The Malvasia grape variety was introduced with the first settlement, and the first export, was to the court of François I, King of France. Wine still had a minor economic importance, because until the first half of the 16th century, Madeira was mainly one of the most important markets for Atlantic sugar.
Located in the heart of Funchal, between the “city of sugar” and the “city of wine”, Castanheiro Boutique Hotel was created from five buildings from different centuries (18th, 19th and 20th). Several businesses operated there: a bakery, a printers’ shop, an embroidery house, a pastry shop.
The logo of our hotel represents a chestnut tree (Castanea sativa, “castanheiro” in Portuguese), a traditional tree in Madeira’s rural landscape, which has been grown here since the beginning of the settlement of the island (in the 15th century).