The Church of Santa Maria do Olival is the pantheon of the Portuguese Templar Masters. It was built in the 13th century on the original church of the Order of the Temple, also built on a previous construction, a monastery belonging to the order of S. Bento during the Visigothic period.
The architecture shows the transition between the Romanesque and Gothic styles. The side chapels and the south gallery are in Renaissance style dating from the 16th century. The tomb of Gualdim Pais (in the second side chapel), the figure of Nossa Senhora (by Diogo Pires-o-Velho), the renaissance tomb of the 1st Bishop of Funchal (in the main chapel on the left) and the chapel of Simão Preto with tiles from the 17th century are all worthy of interest.
This church became the “Mother Church” of all the churches in Asia, Africa and America by a papal bull of Pope Calisto III on March 13, 1455. This established that the prior had ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the overseas territories and their inhabitants.
The bell tower, which had been used as a watchtower since the 12th century, was rebuilt in the 16th century.