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600 Years of History - Porto Santo 1418-2018


1. The Finding


This was the first island in the Madeira archipelago to be "found"  in 1418, in the middle of the Atlantic, they found a beautiful golden island, after a great storm, and because it was discovered on the 1st of November - All Saints' Day - and because it was also a safe haven for these navigators, they named the island. island of PORTO SANTO !

These navigators, commanded by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira,  they had been sent on a voyage of discovery by Prince Henry the Navigator and returned immediately to Portugal to report what they had found.

Historical records refer to the finding of the island, as despite the fact that the Portuguese were the first to populate this island state, there were already previous records of these islands in the so-called Atlas Medicis (1370). 

Porto Santo - 1418

Wood - 1419

two.  The occupation and      Survival


  it is thought that  the first humans to set foot on the soil of Porto Santo, in 1420,  prepared to settle the first settlers and start the settlement and governed by Captain Donatário Bartolomeu Perestrelo. The occupation of this island and later the discovery of Madeira were  the first steps to big trips  that put  the Portuguese all over the world, through the great epic of the Discoveries.

Its isolation and lack of rain and sometimes extreme droughts were  aspects that  contributed to the enormous difficulties of survival.

The island  has became  a desirable target for pirates and corsairs, and defense systems were created - fortresses, the beams to warn of their arrival and ways to protect women and children from abduction and rape - the matamorras, which also served to conserve the grain . 

3. Celebrations of 600 years of Porto Santo


As part of the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the discovery of the island of Porto Santo, Escola B+S Prof. Dr. Francisco de Freitas Branco, in collaboration with the City Council, is organizing a cycle of conferences:

Commemorations of the 600 years of the Discovery of the Madeira and Porto Santo Islands

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