Castle walls, Évora
Evora's history goes back a long way. Consequently, it has walls within walls as these defensive barriers were erected over the many centuries of the city's existance. The core of the city is centred around old Roman and Moorish walls, of which not much remain today. However, as the city expanded, more extensive 'new' walls were built in the 1300s to encompass more of this growing town. These later walls, including their 40 towers,were reinforced even further in 1640 after Portugal declared itself to be independent from Spain. Sure enough, in 1663 the city was able to survive a Spanish attack thanks to its defensive fortifications!
It was a hot 28 C day during the afternoon that we did our touring, so I decided to be sensible and go with the shorts. Here, we have left the city through one of the gates that is located beside the University, so this is the outer view of the walls in this portion of the defensive ring.
Now totally enmeshed by the buildings of Evora, this gate was once part of the original Roman inner-wall fortifications. Located not far from the 'Se' (Cathedral), this was just one of the many interesting sights that we enjoyed as we walked around the streets of this very busy city.
It must be said though, that since leaving Lisbon 3 days earlier, this was the first time that we had actually walked around a city along with all the other tourists that had been bussed in! Evora was definitely hopping on this hot Wednesday in mid-May. I would hate to think what it is like in the peak of the tourist season!
Old Walls. Partially camouflaged by medieval and renascentista urbanism, Évora conserves important vestiges of its older wall structure, called "Cerca Velha". Although its origins must retrace to Century III, time where many peninsular cities strenghten, great part of the structure that arrived until us is resulted of posterior workmanships. Its reconstruction in the beginning of Century X is particularly well registered, at full Islamic time. On the picture is the chunk of wall from Alcárcova de Cima, integrated in the House of Burgos, where the overlapping of the wall is visible.
This could be a very difficult place to visit because its inside the Ministry of Culture. Although it is now very suitable to be visited the door is permanently closed. This is the first wall constructed by Romans in Evora.
This is also inside the Ministry of Culture, aside from the first wall of the city in the roman period.
You can notice how the colors were used to paint houses. Very interesting place to visit. For me, its almost one of the most important places to visit while in Evora.
These painted Roman houses are dated from the 1st Century.
The "arch of D. Isabel" designating one of the old doors of the Roman wall .This old arch near the post office that give access to Dona Isabel Street, is one of the few Roman Walls still remaining after all these years. This was one of Gates to the Roman City of Ebora, its classified has National Monument. The town castle walls had different time construtions and was being updated has the times were passing by and the city growing. Evora has 3 distinctive defense walls system in 3 different times. Its nice how you can actually notice them. There are some unknow spots whre you have to ask and find the first castle walls ion the city. If you go to the Ministry of Culture building and ask for "muralhas" or castle walls you'll be able to go down and see Evora's first defense wall ever built by romans. long time ago indeed. Tellme when you're comming and I show them to you persnally. You can also see in the same place some roman houses still with frescoes inside. Very nice paintings also.
The medieval castlewalls or townwall will be one of the first interesting sights, when you arrive in Evora by bus, because there is quite a large, well-preserved part of it close to the bus-station (my first 3 pics) and some towers of the medieval townwall are also next to the Roman Temple (my last 2 photos). You cannot step up these towers, just take a look at them.
The fortifications that have protected Evora through the years form two incomplete concentric circles. The inner ring, of which only fragments remain, was built in Roman times, from as early as the 1st century AD. Moorish and medieval additions were later mae to this inner wall. In the 14th century, new walls were built to encompass a growing town, including 40 towers and 10 gates, one of which still faces the road to Lisbon (Porta de Alconchel).
In the 17th century, additional walls were built by the king Joad IV, in anticipation of an attack by Spain. These walls are the most conspicuous and complete you will see in the city.
The walls of Evora castle are amidst the best preserved ones in Portugal. Almost all the historic city is surrounded by the walls, with several doors and towers.
A couple of doors were modified, but the other still keep their medieval characteristics.
The city is in the Unesco world heritage list, so the city itself is an experience. There are old Roman ruins that are the best in whole Iberia.
You can almost hear the horses riding and the romans having their baccanals on the temples...
Because its surrounded with high walls, there is extremely hot at sumertime. When we were there, it was about 42-44 celsius and not even the slightest wind.
The medieval walls and towers surround the city, and you should not miss the opportunity to walk along them. Can't walk along the castle walls in the US :(