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Launch of NOVEMIL

The Mayor of Funchal, Miguel Silva Gouveia, recently presented a new historical initiative ‘NOVEMIL’ at the Municipal Theater Baltazar Dias.  NOVEMIL is a digital platform that highlights Funchal’s history, providing glimpses into the past that allows people to understand how the city has grown and changed since it was first established.

The Mayor explained that “this project is the outcome of two years thorough investigation and research, and seeks to show the City of Funchal in a different historical and cultural context than the one normally available, allowing he said “new doors within the city to be opened.”

The new platform, which takes its name from the then only postal code of the city – 9000 ¬ appears in a bilingual version and also explains Funchal’s toponymy genesis. “From the tourist point of view, whoever visits our island seeks to understand our origins and the roots of our traditions, and this project offers and complements the need for our visitors to understand our city.”  As part of this initiative we have explained many of the curiosities surrounding the city, such as the origin of some of the street names and places, which are stories in themselves that may be unknown to both tourists and residents.

The Mayor also added that the “Novemil” project is open to everyone and that anyone can contribute stories, photos and videos.  “The next stage in this project is to allow all interested parties to share with the Funchal City Council its family collections and its own narratives about the past, making previously unknown histories available to everyone.”

In his summing up, Miguel Silva Gouveia stated that “the considerable scientific and research work carried out by João Márcio Matos (principle researcher) must also be remembered as it was his commitment and passion that enabled all the history of the city, particularly the little known or personal elements to be gathered together on this platform which contribute to the rediscovery of  Funchal and the preservation of its collective history for the benefit and enjoyment of this and future generations.”

NOVEMIL can is available at and the initiative contains more than 6,000 photographs in the ‘Iconoteca,’ 200 books in the ‘Ateneu’ and several stories in the city’s ‘Unusual Guide’, Toponic Memory and Chronicles of Everyday Life.

Samantha Gannon

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