Berardo Foundation

On 12 November 1988 the José Berardo Foundation was set up and José Berardo donated the Monte Palace to this Institution. Thus the conditions were created to summon up the energy and the means needed to ensure the full recuperation of the buildings and garden, which had lain abandoned since 1945.

José Berardo and his wife Carolina dedicated themselves personally to this great effort. They were helped in the recuperation work on both a professional and friendly level by José Manuel Carvalho in the renovation of the buildings, by Mário Rodriques in the redecoration of the interiors and by José Eleutério Ascenção Soares in the reorganization of the gardens.

Through the Foundation, José Berardo chose to adorn the Tropical Garden with square stone masonry, selected works of art, Koi fish and exotic birds. For those who wish to wander along its walkways and within its caves and to enjoy these features, the idea of the Tropical Garden, in line with the botanical gardens which were so in vogue in the 19th century, allows them to dream or at least be free to dream about other worlds.

If aesthetic concerns were predominant, concerns for the protection of the environment and species also made their mark. The new garden is a nursery which gracefully supplies visitors with plants and allows for the scientific study of nature, above all for children and young adults. The flora species native to Madeira, plants originating from Asia, azaleas from Belgium, heathers from Scotland and especially, a unique collection of cycads from South Africa have all been brought together in the creation of the new garden.

It was the culmination of all this work that José Berardo presented to the public on 5th of October 1991, with a reception for the people and the President of Madeira and the Bishop of Funchal.

The Berardo Foundation will ensure that this garden does not return to the state of abandonment in which José Berardo found it.