In the 18th century the English Consul Charles Murray, bought a property south of the church in "Monte" to the north of Funchal, then called "Quinta do Prazer" (The Pleasure Estate). At the turn of the century the property changed hands again when in 1897, Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues purchased the estate and built a palatial property which was later converted into the "Monte Palace Hotel".
After Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues died in 1947 and the hotel closed, forty years later the hotel and gardens was purchased by entrepreneur José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo, who donated it to a charitable Foundation he had founded to create what is now Monte Palace Tropical Garden.
The two visits couldn't have been more different, the first was in glorious sunshine, the second was in very atmospheric mist and light rains.
On entering the garden there is a museum of modern African art, whilst this is reasonably interesting in itself, the museum balconies give a spectacular overhead view of a pool surrounded by Yucca elphantipes and Cyathea cooperi.
As you pass down though the garden the next section follows a stream through an oriental styled landscape complete with stone lanterns and large stone buddhas. There is a new building project underway in this area, with the slope above having been cleared from trees. This may have been connected with the landslides the island was affected by last year.