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This is great news, and very good for the island and tourism.

Translation taken from JM

The president of the Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, stressed today that one of the projects of the island executive is to recover the old royal roads that cross the island to make them a new tourist pole of the region.

“We intend, through a set of works that we are going to launch already in the next years, to rehabilitate the old paths that crossed all the Madeira and that they have a set of very important elements of the point of view of the patrimony”, said the Madeiran ruler in the visit who made the first of these recovered routes the real road between the site of Florence and Lombo Atouguia, in the parish of Arco da Calheta, in the west of the island.

Miguel Albuquerque pointed out that these interventions will serve to “rehabilitate the memory” of these links in all parishes and, “simultaneously  take advantage to create a new pole of attractiveness for those who visit” the region.

“This is the first work of my mandate,” he said, adding that “they are very beautiful paths that cross beautiful areas”, whose rehabilitation will “serve in the future as a complement to tourism, especially levadas”, pedestrian routes to the small streams.

The head of the island executive said that this first project “will be complemented in the coming years with a set of works that will be launched and have intensive workforce, which serves contractors and local companies.”

“There are hundreds and hundreds of these routes that cross the island,” said Miguel Albuquerque, pointing out that “some have a very easy rehabilitation, because they are not very damaged,” while “others need a deeper intervention.”

Miguel Albuquerque said that this is a work that will continue in other locations, claiming that “are new poles of heritage rehabilitation and tourist attraction.”

The governor added that these paths, built in the time of the monarchy, still have the drawings in the Regional Archive, which will be “used with a proper signage”.

“Then they will also be on the website of Tourism and municipal councils for people to enjoy,” he concluded.

The Royal Route “, or” royal road “, is the designation attributed to the main land routes built before the Republic was established. Most of Madeira originated at the initiative of the governors or the captains-generals, acting as an alternative and complement to the sea.

The “royal roads” began to lose importance with the arrival of the automobile and the modern road network throughout the twentieth century, and most fell into abandonment and ruin.

Currently, of the 28 footpaths recommended by the authorities (25 Madeira and three in Porto Santo), only 12 are on footpaths and old “real roads”; but the interest in the recovery of the old road network now mobilises the government and the city councils.