atmosphere, well-preserved old quarter and catle
didnt spend long enougth there
Stepping back in time in the Southeastern Portugal
"Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications." That is the way UNESCO lists the amazing and completely impressive fortress walls of Elvas. I stumbled up the walls in my guidebook when i was preparing for a driving holiday of Portugal. The book fell open to a small map of what I thought was a large castle. Then I realised it was not a...more
Elvas is the newest World Heritage site in Portugal. It has one this status due to the extensive and impressive set of fortifications that protected this city from foreign invasions. One of the most interesting places in Elvas has to be the old Santa Clara square. In here is the “pelourinho”/pillory the symbol of independence of a community but...more
The castle of Elvas is one of the National Monuments of Portugal and in fact the first building ever declared into this state in Portugal (1906). This oldest military structure of the town was built on roman remains, but after the Christian recapture of Elvas from the Moors the castle was newly set up (1228). Later in the 14th century improvements...more
Outside of town you will find two protecting fortresses that were part of the massive city fortifications that make Elvas to one of most fortificated towns in Europe. One of the two fortresses is the Forte da Graça which sits on a hilltop overlooking the historic Elvas. Its military concept was made of Count Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst zu...more
Elvas is a very fortified town and therefore also the city gates are slightly different to those of other towns. I was really impressed of their size, the length and narrowness. Even more surprising was that through it the traffic was going. In front of the gate (outside fro where the photo was taken) the moat is crossed by a bridge.Find the...more
In the center of the historic Elvas you will find the Praça da República. This is a beautiful town square where you can have a rest of your touristic activities or start off for new explorations in town. Just at the square you will find the Antiga Sé (Old Cathedral). I like the pattern of the pavement on the square. The history of the Praça da...more
The old cathedral is dedicated to N. Sra. da Assunção and was built in the 16th century. Inside there are some very beautiful golden baroque altars. Impressive is also the golden organ.Beside the church there is the museum for sacral art.Opening hours:10:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:30 (closed on Mondays and the mornings of Tuesday)more
The Igreja das Domínicas is one of the sacral highlights of Elvas. It was built in 1543 and belonged to the monastery St. Domingos which was destroyed in the 14th century. The inner shape is octagonal and the walls are entirely covered with azulejos (tiles) of the 17th century.Opening times are 10.00 to13.00 and 15.00 to18.30 (closed completely on...more
This is the main square in Elvas. After having visited the town, have a drink sitting at the outside tables of the square cafés. It's not a bad idea to order a pastry. Just have a look around: mainly locals and Spanish people doing some shopping (Elvas is located about 10 kms far from the frontier). You will be surprised when you ask for the bill:...more
Elvas Castle was rebuilt for King Sancho III in 1226. A walk around the top of the town's battlements gives a fine view of the old town and a vantage point from which to appreciate the ingenious design of the fortifications.The origin of the castle within the old town is remote but it recorded as being rebuilt in 1226 and later subject to further...more
.The Aqueduct is in origin as the need to supplement the original town`s water supply was already acute in the 15th Century. Work was started in 1498 but it took over 124 years to complete this 8 kilometers long construction with 843 arches that in some places reaches 30 metres in height.more
17 Reviews and Opinions
By car, Elvas is about 3 hours from Lisbon. You will need to cress Tejo, head to Setubal and then follow signs to Evora & Spain (Espanha). Tolls add up to almost E15, which is a lot, but in my opinion are worth the independence from public transport. Roads are incredible, speed limit is about 120 km (80 mph). Gas is VERY expensive.I rented from...more
Elvas is quite easy to reach, eithor going from the west or east. From Madrid, Spain take the bus to Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, and from Badajoz just take a taxi through the border to Elvas. From Lisbon just take the bus to Elvas (or Evora and then to Elvas). The Spanish border city of Badajoz has trains and busses to all different Portuguese...more
The abundant folklore of this small town might whet your appetite for souvenirs. Take a stroll along the town's best shopping streets.. Rustic artifacts appear on all sides, allowing you to choose your favorites. If you want to target your destinations in advance, consider the handcrafts as souvenirs,to remember and not forget Elvas.more
A quaint thing we observed walking around the streets of Elvas was the size of the doors -- a lot of those in old reconstructed houses were small! We have never heard of an explanation for this, but it seemed odd that anybody who goes in would have to bend down, and considerably so, to enter.
Also, note that no matter how small these doors are, the upper half of it can be opened inward, so that it serves like a balcony or window where the owner can look out, or where the neighbors can look in for a bit of gossip.
This is exactly what we found as we were walking down a street, a neighbor having a friendly chat through this "window-door". Note the door's size by comparing it with the neighboring building's entrance which is of normal size.
the Pousada de Santa eulalia, a hacienda-style building just outside the city walls. the bone-white stucco villa faces the fortifications. the ground floor holds a living room, an L-shaped dining salon, and a bar, all opening through thick arches onto a Moorish courtyard with a fountain, a lily pond, and orange trees.more
17 Reviews and Opinions