Entering the historic center you will have to get through the massive walls of the town. It clearly makes visible that Evora is not far from the Spanish border along which many smaller and larger towns are massively fortified because of the times of war in the past.
The city walls are still present around Évora. At the North side the oldest walls from the Roman time can be seen, at the South side are the newest. Both round and square watchtowers are part of the walls.
This church was built in Gothic style (with some Manueline influences) between 1.475 and the 1.550s to the design of Martim Lourenço, replacing an earlier Romanesque church of 1.226.
Don't misss the Capela dos Ossos/Chapel of Bones (see the next tip).
Surrounded by plains in the heart of the Alentejo, with its historic center and the unique atmosphere of the old town, Évora was fittingly declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1986.
The city, enclosed within Roman, medieval and 17th-century walls, has been important since Roman times, as it can be seen by the ruins of its emblematic Roman Temple , built in the 2nd century AD.
The animated main square, Praça do Giraldo, has Moorish arcades, a fountain dating from 1571 and is a popular meeting-place on market days.
From there you can explore the city´s more than 20 churches and monasteries, ancient streets with often curious names or the more touristical Rua 5 de Outubro, with shops selling handicrafts from copper pans to carved cork.
Évora has excellent restaurants and you can stay, for example, in the Convento dos Lóios, a 15th-century monastery turned into a pousada (a state-run inn).
The city´s Cathedral, built between 1186 and 1204, includes a Gothic entrance with the sculpted figures of the Apostles, an 18th-century main altar and many other treasures of sacred art; the 15th-century church of São Francisco is famous for its fascinating but rather sinister Chapel of Bones, made from the remains of monks.
But Évora is also a lively town due mainly to its University. The Jesuits first installed a school there in 1559, but they were banned and the school closed in the 18th century; now, it is still part of the new University, with its elegant cloister, a Baroque chapel and magnificent azulejos (painted tiles).
This water tank is a classical work built by Francisco de Arruda around 1538. It is based on a rectangular plan, built in pure renaissance style, with a central tank surrounded by twelve tuscan columns.
Built in the 1930s, the CEA's function was to facilitate the distribution of water to the entire city. The complex, which is now a museum, includes the Elevatory Station, which helped bring water to the higher areas of the city.
The church entrance is topped by 4 uncomfortable-looking stone giants. This is one of the first appearances in the 17th century cloister of the adjoining monastery of the Renaissance style in Portugal.
The region surrounding Evora is filled with paleolithic and neolithic monuments, including some 50,000-year-old cave paintings and etchings at Escoural cave and the Zambujeiro dolmen, the largest dolmen in Europe. They're truly amazing--one of the best things I've seen in Europe thus far. And, unlike the more well-known cave paintings in France, these aren't always (a) closed to tourists or (b) packed with a waiting list.
The Sé (Cathedral) of Evora, built in 1.186, is a mixture of romanesque and gothic style. The main nave is 70 m. long, and the portal has 14th century sculpted Apostles.
This convent belonged to the Clarisas and was founded in the 16th century by the Bishop D. Vasco Perdigão.
- Main: Rua de Serpa Pinto
- Second: Rua D' Alcoutim
- Third: Rua da República
- Fourth: Alcarcova de Baixo
- Fifth: Rua de Serpa Pinto
Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones), built in the 16th century, is a chapel drawing on religious baroque influences which is totally covered with human bones. Don't miss it!
From the end of the 2nd century and with magnificent Corinthian columns, it's one of the Iberian Peninsula's best preserved Roman monuments.
The heart of Evora with some interesting spots such as the Igreja de Santo Antão (Santo Antão Church) and the Tourism Office.
The Aguas Termales building was built at the turn of the last century, and now appears to house a bank. There is a pretty plaza with a fountain in front.
Travessa Dos Lagares 3, Evora PT-7000-56, Portugal
Good for: Couples
As a Starwood Preferred Guest member, I decided to splurge and cash in points for the Convento do...more
Rua Candido dos Reis, 72, Evora, 7000, Portugal
Good for: Families