In the heart of the historic part of Funchal stands the cathedral (Sé do Funchal) which is the most impressive of Madeira's religious edifices. From outside the simple rough white stucco and brownish basalt is not all that impressive, but after entering through the Gothic portal there is plenty to admire. The ceiling, for instance, is Moorish carved cedar inlaid with ivory, and behind the Baroque altar are paintings by Flemish and Portuguese artists.
The late fifteenth-century cathedral is one of the few structures that survives virtually intact since the early period of colonization of Madeira. As the centre piece of the structure, the cathedral contains a silver processional cross, donated by King Manuel I of Portugal, considered one of the masterpieces of precious metalwork of Manueline Portugal.