Thursday, 3 March 2016

History Of the Quinta part 4

Once again the quinta of Angustias is empty so much sorrow was left behind...There was a great sadness, and during that time the quinta was the reference point for the memories and devotion of those who had met the Princess or had heard about her kindness.

The Dowager Emperess never did forget Madeira. Even before leaving the island, she expressed her wish to do something for the poor who suffered from the same disease that had taken away her daughters life. That was exactly what she did using temporary premises. But some years later, on the grounds opposite to Quinta das Angustias, which were bought for that purpose a great building with elegant lines was erected- one of the most beautiful in Funchal-surrounded by gardens everything with the appearance of a sumptuous quinta.

The Dowager Emperess wish was fulfilled, the founding of an Hospicio for twenty four patients with chest complaints, divided by two wings one for men and one for women- a trace of our stay in Madeira to perpetuate the message that we both received  from the good people of the island, these were the very words she used to define her initiative. Besides the location, comfort the Hospicio of Princesa D. Maria Amelia should have, the Dowager Emperess recomended that a certain harmony of the ensemble should be considered and that the garden should be properly kept so that patients may live surrounded by beauty....The color of the walls and other details of the decoration of the interiors were even from a far distance, object of her dedication.

The Dowager Emperess did not return to Madeira, as she intended, in order to see her work after its conclusion, the work her love and memories of mother had conceived and her persistence achieved , overcoming almost insuperable difficulties. But before she died, the Dowager Emperess made her sister Josephine, Queen of Sweden, a trustee of the Hospicio, thus assuring on a definite way of maintenance and functioning of the Hospicio. And so it was- not without misunderstandings and problems that Queen Josephine handled firmly.

Whoever walks past the gate may believe to be in a splendid quinta, carefully looked after. Dragon trees that can be seen from the Avenida do Infante giving a local touch to its  beautiful perspective of old Madeiran flora, when the island was covered with vegetal species  that become rare or desappeared almost completely...This day's the D.Maria Amelia hospicio is a school...


1 comment:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ana - it must be a beautiful part of the world. I know Madeira came from here ... and a Flanders and Swann I mentioned in my blog uses 'Madeira' in its name ... and my grandparents used to call in when they went by ship to India ...

Looks wonderful - so glad you had a happy time ... cheers Hilary