Tourist’s guide to Evora, Portugal – Open Air Museum City

Evora (Portugal) is rightfully included in the list of the most beautiful cities in the country. A walk along its center will take you to the distant past, envelop you in the atmosphere of rapidly changing historical eras. The architecture of the city was formed under the influence of the Moorish and Roman cultures. Hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Evora every year to drink exquisite wine and taste local varieties of cheeses and sweets. Residents call Evora the spiritual center of Portugal.

Evora, Portugal

Photo: Evora, Portugal

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general information

Colorful streets of the city

The city is conveniently located in the central part of Portugal in the province of Alentejo, a little more than 41 thousand people live in it. Evora is the center of the county and municipality with similar names. Just 110 km from the capital is an oasis of olive groves, vineyards and meadows. You find yourself in a labyrinth of narrow streets, walk among the old houses, admire the fountains. Evora is recognized as a museum city, where each stone has its own fascinating history.

Historical reference

The settlement was founded by the Lusitans, its first name is Ebor. Initially, the city was the residence of the commander Sertoria. Since the 5th century A.D. bishops settle here.

Coat of arms of the city of Evora

In 712, the Moors ruled the city, they called the settlement Zhabury. To return Evora, the Portuguese monarch founded the Avis Knight Order, it was he who settled in the city when he managed to expel the Moors.

In the 15-16 centuries, Evora was the residence of the ruling royal family. This period is called the Golden Age. Then it was occupied by the Spaniards, after which the city lost its former significance. The main event of the 19th century was the complete surrender of the monarch Miguel and the end of civil strife.

What to see

History Center

Evora is a city museum with amazing residential quarters that were built from the 15th to the 18th century, ancient houses decorated with tiles, forged. Most distinctly, the special ancient architecture is felt in the central part of the city, which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Evora - a city with amazing residential areas

In Evora, in a surprising way, for several millennia, a charming appearance has been maintained, which was formed under the influence of many cultures. New quarters are built in such a way as not to disrupt the historical heritage donated by the Romans, Moors, Lusitans.

Many of the attractions of Evora are collected in the city center. The list of the most significant includes the Cathedral of Xie, the palaces of Vasco da Gama and the monarch Manuel, the temple of Diana, churches, chapels. All historical monuments are perfectly preserved.

A bus runs from Sete Rios Station in the Portuguese capital to the center of Evora. You can also arrive by car, following the A2 highway, then you need to turn onto the A 6 and A 114 routes.

Chapel of Bone Osush
Walls of the Chapel of Bones Osush

Another bright and slightly frightening attraction of Evora (Portugal) is the Chapel of Bones, which is part of the complex of the Church of St. Francis. Inside the shrine, bones and skulls belonging to 5 thousand monks are collected.

The building symbolizes imminent death, and was built after the terrible epidemics of plague and military events that caused a thousand deaths. The inscription crowns the chapel’s arch: our bones rest here, we are waiting for yours.

Chapel of Bone Osush

Interesting fact! To keep the bones white, they were treated with slaked lime. Deformed and destroyed bones were ground and mixed with cement.

The chapel is located at: Praca 1º de Maio, 7000-650 Sã o Pedro, vora.

Xie Cathedral

The shrine began to be erected at the beginning of the 12th century, and was completed only in 1250. The cathedral is decorated in the Roman Gothic style and is recognized as the most attractive and largest medieval cathedral in Portugal. Here is the oldest functioning Portuguese organ, assembled in the 16th century. Inside the cathedral is decorated with different types of marble.

Xie Cathedral

Outside, the shrine is decorated with two towers and sculptures. One of them has a museum of religion, which presents the clothes of clergy, their household items and church utensils.

Interesting fact! Vasco da Gama came here for a blessing when he was going on a famous trip to India. Ships and banners were consecrated in the temple.

The cathedral is located at: vora, Portugal.

Cromlech Almendrish

It is considered the largest on the Perinean Peninsula and is included in the list of the largest in all of Europe. Cromlech has almost 100 stones, according to historians and archaeologists, it was created in the 5-6 centuries BC. The place is ancient and during its existence some of the stones have been lost. According to one version, cromlech was a temple of the sun.

Cromlech Almendrish
Menhirs cromlech Almendrish with engraved images

Carved drawings were found on 10 stones (menhirs). In the north-east direction from the complex there is a single stone 2.5 meters high. Historians have not yet come to a consensus on what it means. Some believe that menhir is a pointer, according to another version – there are other menhirs in other places.

Near cromlech there is parking. It is better to come in the evening and choose clear weather, because in the rain the country road is blurred. Finding a road is easy – there are signs along the route. There is not much information on the Internet, but the reviews of tourists are unanimous – the place is fascinating and fascinating, I don’t want to leave here.

Cromlech’s address: Recinto Megalitico dos Almendres, next to Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe, 15 km from the town of Évora.

The fortress wall of Fernandin
The fortress wall of Fernandin

Built in the 14th century. For the Middle Ages, the building was considered grandiose, but today tourists can visit to see only the surviving fragments of the fortress wall. Construction work began in 1336 by the decision of the monarch Alphonse I. The fortification replaced the old wall, which could no longer protect the city, which was growing. The construction was completed 40 years after the beginning during the reign of the monarch Ferdinand, in his honor the building was named.

The height of the walls of the attraction is almost 7 meters, but according to some reports – 9 meters, their thickness – 2.2 meters. 17 gates made of stone and metal are made in the wall. The length of the structure reached 3.4 km. For greater reliability and durability, the walls were supplemented with towers; there were about 30 of them.

Interesting to know! In the 18th century, the need to protect the city disappeared, so the walls were partially destroyed to expand the streets. The surviving remnants of the structure in Evora are included in the list of national monuments of Portugal.

Giraldo Central Square

A typical square in Portugal, made in a modern style. Locals and tourists like to walk here. In the center of the square there is a fountain, eight streams of which symbolize the eight streets that adjoin it. The fountain was built in 1571 from marble and crowned with a bronze crown. There are many places on the square where you can have a tasty meal and enjoy the local beauties.

Giraldo Central Square

On a note! The past of the square is sad and a little scary. Initially, executions were carried out here. For two centuries, cruel sentences of the Inquisition were carried out here. Over 20 thousand people were executed on the square.

Santo Antau Temple in Evora

The square is located in the central area of ​​the city. It’s worth to come here to stroll along the paved tiles, have a cup of coffee, enjoy the picturesque nature. In the northern part of the square is the temple of Santo Antau, built in the 16th century, in the south is a bank. On the square, entertainment events are regularly held – a charity market is operating, and a Christmas tree is being set up on Christmas Eve. In the evening, the square is especially magical – colorful stones flooded with moonlight create an amazing impression.

Church of St. Francis
Church of St. Francis

The city’s most visited church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the temple lasted three decades – from 1480 to 1510. Previously, there was a temple built in the 12th century by the Order of the Franciscans. In the 15th century, the church was reconstructed – the structure is made in the shape of a cross and decorated in the Gothic style. A chapel was built at the temple for representatives of the royal family, since noble people often visited here.

Note! The entrance is decorated with a pelican sculpture – this is the emblem of the monarch Joao II.

In the church of St. Francis

The architectural design of the temple provides for 10 chapels, undoubtedly the most popular of them is the chapel of bones. Each chapel has an altar. The main marble altar was built in the 18th century. Inside the church looks luxurious – decorated with stucco moldings, drawings with a biblical story, tiles. Also in the temple there is an organ established in the 18th century and decorated in the Baroque style.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the temple was nationalized and until the beginning of the 20th century the city court worked in the building. The largest reconstruction was carried out several years ago, more than 4 million euros were allocated for it. A museum has been opened in the temple, where an impressive collection of works on the theme of religion has been collected. In the church there is an exhibition consisting of 2.6 thousand images of the Holy Family and nativity scenes from different countries.

University of Evora

At a time when the city of Evora in Portugal was revered by the monarchs, a university opened here, where local and European masters were educated. Many creative personalities flocked here for a portion of inspiration.

University of Evora

In 1756, the university was closed because its founder, the Jesuits, was expelled from the country. This happened as a result of disagreements between the Marquis de Pombal and the representatives of the order, who shared zones of influence not only in Evora, but throughout Portugal. At the end of the 20th century, the university began its activities again.

University Address: Largo dos Colegiais 2, 7004-516 É vora.

How to get there

There are four ways to get to Evora from Lisbon.

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By train
Waiting for a train at Entrecampos Station

The journey takes about 1.5 hours, ticket prices range from 9 to 18 euros. Trains depart 4 times a day from Entrecampos Station. Evora is followed by Portuguese Railways (CP) trains.

By bus

The journey takes 1 hour 45 minutes, the cost of a full ticket is 11.90 €, discounts are provided for students, children and senior citizens. Flights depart every 15-60 minutes. Evora is followed by Rede Expressos buses from the Lisboa Sete Rios stop.

You can view the current schedule and purchase tickets at the carrier’s website

Lisbon Taxi

You can book a transfer from the airport or hotel in Lisbon. The cost of the trip is from 85 to 110 euros.

By car

The journey takes 1.5 hours. The distance between the capital and Evora is just over 134 km. It will take 11 liters of gasoline (from 18 to 27 euros).

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Evora (Portugal) – an ancient city that was under the influence of the Moorish, survived the golden period when royal weddings were magnificently held here. Evora is a center of creativity, spirituality, here the famous masters of Portugal, Spain and Holland created. To feel the incredible atmosphere of the city, you need to walk the streets, go to souvenir shops and visit the sights, which are fraught with many wonderful stories.

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