City of Evora

Experience History with Captivating City of Évora, Portugal

Évora is a fascinating city that is located in Alentejo province, in the south-central part of Portugal. With over 2,000 years of history, it is considered one of Portugal’s most historic cities. It is mostly known for its ancient monuments, the oldest of which date back to 5000 B.C. Due to Évora‘s preserved historical structures, it was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Évora in Portugal offers many things for tourists, and one of which is the ancient Roman walls that surround some parts of the town. Outside the ancient city walls are preserved aqueducts built in the 15th century. These are the Água de Prata Aqueduct that extends for nine kilometres, ending in the quiet residential district, Rua de Cano.

Inside the ancient walls, tourists will also find captivating historic monuments, including the Praça do Giraldo, which were used as execution grounds during the Spanish Inquisition. Located within this square there is a beautiful 16th century church called St. Anton’s Church, or in Portuguese, Igreja de Santo Antão. Nearby, there is a road that leads to Évora’s most famous landmark, the Temple of Diana. Although it has been found that this 2nd century Roman temple was not dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana but instead to Emperor Augustus, locals and tourists still call it by such name.

From the Temple of Diana, one can see the prominent Sé de Évora or the Cathedral of Évora. This medieval church is located on the highest part of the city, so it can be easily seen by visitors. With Gothic exteriors and Romanesque interiors, it has been named as one of the finest examples of Gothic-Romanesque architecture. It has been said that the Cathedral of Évora may have played a small part in Portugal’s history; it is supposed by many that the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama had the flags of his ships blessed in the cathedral before he sailed to India. Currently, the cathedral has a museum that houses a 13th century ivory statue of the Virgin Mary.

A few minutes from the church is Largo das Portas de Moura, a square built in the Renaissance period; and the University of Évora, which was founded in the Renaissance times as well, in the year 1559, by the Jesuits. The university is the second oldest university in Portugal.

The city is famous for its old churches. St. Francis Church or Igreja de São Francisco is one of the most famous among the old churches because of its eccentric chapel, the Capela dos Ossos or the Chapel of Bones. True to its name, human bones and skulls were used to decorate its walls. Another unique church is the Graça Church, which is made of granite. A lovely medieval church is the Ermita de São Brás or the Hermitage of St. Blaise. Looking like a castle from a fairy tale, it features white walls, round buttresses, and gargoyles.

In addition to these well-preserved monuments and its rich history and culture, Évora in Portugal boasts of safety and excellent living conditions for its residents. In fact, according to a study conducted by a university in Portugal, it is one of the most liveable cities in the country.

Évora lives up to its name as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Anywhere in the city, there are places to go and interesting things to see. You can experience history firsthand by just taking in the beauty of the Roman ruins and medieval monuments in Évora .

Evora is also an ideal base from which to explore the beautiful Alentejo region, which is also home to several tourist attractions. One of the most prominent spots in the region is the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, a nature park that boasts of scenic and preserved medieval villages. The park is located east of Portalegre.

Evora is only two hours away from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It can be reached by bus or car.

Tags: , , ,

Popular Places