Peacocks in Jardim Publico de Evora


Évora ( US: / ˈ ɛ v ʊr ə / EV -uurr-ə, [1] [2] Portuguese: [ˈɛvuɾɐ] ( listen ) Proto-Celtic: *Ebora) is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 56,596, [3] in an area of 1307.08 km 2 . [4] It is the historic capital of the Alentejo and serves as the seat of the Évora District. The present Mayor is Carlos Pinto de Sá of the CDU coalition. The municipal holiday is 29 June.

Due to its well-preserved old town centre, still partially enclosed by medieval walls, and many monuments dating from various historical periods, including a Roman Temple, Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Due to its inland position, Évora is one of Portugal's hottest cities in the summer, frequently subject to heat waves. Even so, it is milder than areas farther inland across the Spanish border.

Évora is ranked number two in the Portuguese most livable cities survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso. [5] It was ranked first in a study concerning competitiveness of the 18 Portuguese district capitals, according to a 2006 study made by University of Minho economic researchers. [6]

Capela dos Ossos

One of Évora’s most popular sights is also one of its most chilling. The walls and columns of this mesmerising memento mori (reminder of death) are lined with the bones and skulls of some 5000 people. This was.

Archaeological Site in Évora

Museu de Évora

A trip to the city of Évora is definitely incomplete without a visit to the Museu de Évora, which is located in the Bishop&rsquos Palace. Said to be the best museum in Évora, the Museu de Évora has over 20,000 pieces on display. more


A trip to the city of Évora is definitely incomplete without a visit to the Museu de Évora, which is located in the Bishop&rsquos Palace. Said to be the best museum in Évora, the Museu de Évora has over 20,000 pieces on display. The museum is a must-visit for tourists as it has a variety of exhibits that explain the long history of the region. This family-friendly museum is known for its archeological artifact collection, as well as for the collections of paintings, sculptures and furniture. Muslim visitors to the museum will also come across a collection of Islamic remains. The highlight of the Museu de Évora is the 13-panelled, Life of the Virgin a Flemish polyptych from the 16th-century.

Ticket Price

Opening Hour

Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 18:00

Recommended Visit Duration

Suitable For

Adults, senior visitors, young adults, families, children

Must See

Collection of Islamic remains

Prayer Facilities

Muslims visiting the Museu de Évora will not be able to find a prayer room at the attraction. The city of Évora is however home to one known mosque the Islamic Place of Worship of Évora. Muslim tourists can therefore ask museum staff to guide them to this facility when needed.

Halal Food

The Museu de Évora is not known to house a café. Visitors to the museum will therefore have to dine at one of the restaurants in the area surrounding the attraction. Since there are no known Halal restaurants in the city, Muslim tourists will have to dine on suitable seafood or vegetarian dishes at a local non-Halal restaurant. More information regarding the availability of Halal food could be obtained at the local mosque.

3. Archaeology

If you love old ruins and buildings, this is the place for you. There are a handful of sites right in the heart of town, such as the Roman Temple of Evora, as I just mentioned above. The temple was probably built around the First Century AD, either for the goddess Diana, or the god Jupiter.

Invading Germanic forces damaged the temple in the 5th Century. Later, around the 14th Century, the ruins were incorporated into a tower in the castle’s stronghold, and the spaces between the columns were enclosed. The temple later found use as a butcher shop, and it was used as such until 1836. Oddly enough, the constant re-use of the temple was what kept the remains intact.

There’s also the Aqua de Prata Aqueduct, or “Aqueduct of Silver Water,” which runs straight through the walled historic center of town.

Built in the 1500s, it’s not exactly ancient, but it does give the town that medieval feel. King João III commissioned the aqueduct to bring fresh water into the city. It took 6 years to build, between 1531 and 1537 AD. Evora was a boomtown at the time, but because of its elevated location it lacked the amount of ground water needed for its residents. So they built the aqueduct – 18 km long in total – to bring water from the Ribeira do Divor.

Interestingly, its designer was Francisco de Arruda, a military architect and also the designer of the Tower of Belem in Lisbon.

Within the Evora city walls, there are a lot of interesting bits and bobs to discover relating to the aqueduct. For example, this Renaissance Water Box:

Water Box designed by Francisco de Arruda, found on the Rua Nova de Santiago

Some sections of the aqueduct have been filled in with houses and commercial buildings within the arches. It’s pretty cool how they incorporated them together actually. It creates some pretty distinctive architecture. Here you can see where an arch sits snugly between buildings, creating a short tunnel for cars.

Many shops and restaurants took advantage of the arched openings and are now built right into the arches. There’s also a nice nature walk along the aqueduct that you can follow to the outskirts of town.

Now, this is where online descriptions of the aqueduct confuse and frustrate visitors. I read several descriptions saying that you can “walk along the aqueduct”. This was misinterpreted by many to mean that you can physically walk along the top of the aqueduct. So, if you read comments on TripAdvisor or other review sites, you’ll read a few remarks from some pretty unhappy people because they couldn’t figure out how to climb to the top of the aqueduct to walk along its length.

So, can you climb the aqueduct and walk along the top? Simply put: No.

In fact, you can’t even really walk alongside it all the way. The Convento da Cartuxa owns a section of the land the aqueduct sits on, and it’s cordoned off within their own walls. However, you can start the aqueduct walk on Rua do Cano, inside the Evora city walls.

Turning left on Rua do Muro, you walk outside the city walls and past the ring road onto R114-4. This is where the aqueduct is at its tallest. A stone wall separates the aqueduct from the sidewalk. But you can still follow it (at a bit of a distance) until it crosses the highway. There are some lovely architectural details to take note of at this juncture! The covered niches house modern images of Saint Bruno and Saint Bento, patron saints of two nearby monasteries.

Once you cross the highway there is a path through the fields. This is where the walk gets a little more rugged, going past farmer’s fields and a lovely residential neighborhood.

You may even see some livestock along the path, as we did!

We did take notice of something interesting on the walk back. We assumed this was an old water fountain? They didn’t have any interpretive signs, but the design seemed to suggest this:

Just a short drive out of town gets you to the Almendres Cromlech, a large series of standing stones, many with engravings which are still visible. It’s one of the largest groups of standing stones in Europe, and dates back to the 6th millennium BC!

4. Royal Palace of Evora

The Royal Palace of Evora is also called the Royal Palace of São Francisco and the Palace of King Manuel I. The palace used to be a Royal residence for the former kings of Portugal and was originally built during the 13th century, as a convent. During the 14th century, the royal family started to use it as a seat when they were centered in Alentejo, but it became a royal palace during the reign of King Alfonso. The palace overcame war, decay and redevelopment and most of the original building is not seen here, anymore. During the reign of King Manuel, I, this palace was the center of the Renaissance and was visited by playwrights, such as Gil Vincente and explorers like Vasco de Gama.

Royal Palace of Évora

Address: Rua 24 de Julho 1, 7000-650 Évora, Portugal


Early history Edit

Évora has a history dating back more than five millennia.

It was known as Ebora by the Celtici, a tribal confederacy, south of the Lusitanians (and of Tagus river), who made the town their regional capital.

The etymological origin of the name Ebora is from the ancient Celtic word ebora/ebura, the genitive plural form of the word eburos (yew), the name of a species of tree, so its name means "of the yew trees." The city of York, in northern England, at the time of the Roman Empire, was called Eboracum/Eburacum, after the ancient Celtic place name *Eborakon (Place of Yew Trees), so the old name of York is etymologically related to the city of Évora. [7] Alternative hypotheses are that the name is derived from oro, aurum, (gold) [8] as the Romans had extensive gold mining in Portugal or it may have been named after ivory workers because ebur (genitive eboris) was Latin for ivory. It may have been capital of the kingdom of Astolpas. [9]

Roman rule Edit

See Ebora Liberalitas Julia for more on Roman Évora.

The Romans conquered the town in 57 BC and expanded it into a walled town. Vestiges from this period (city walls and ruins of Roman baths) remain. Julius Caesar called it Liberalitas Julia (Julian generosity). The city grew in importance because it lay at the junction of several important routes. During his travels through Gaul and Lusitania, Pliny the Elder also visited this town and mentioned it in his book Naturalis Historia as Ebora Cerealis, because of its many surrounding wheat fields. In those days, Évora became a flourishing city. Its high rank among municipalities in Roman Hispania is clearly shown by many inscriptions and coins. The monumental Corinthian temple in the centre of the town dates from the first century and was probably erected in honour of emperor Augustus. In the fourth century, the town had already a bishop, named Quintianus.

During the barbarian invasions, Évora came under the rule of the Visigothic king Leovigild in 584. The town was later raised to the status of a cathedral city. Nevertheless, this was a time of decline and very few artifacts from this period remain.

Moorish rule Edit

In 715, the city was conquered by the Moors under Tariq ibn-Ziyad who called it Yaburah يابرة. During the Moorish rule (715–1165), the town, part of the Taifa of Badajoz, slowly began to prosper again and developed into an agricultural center with a fortress and a mosque. The present character of the city is evidence of the Moorish influence. During that time, several notables hailed from Evora, including Abd al-Majid ibn Abdun Al-Yaburi عبد المجيد بن عبدون اليابري, a poet whose diwan still survives to this day. [10]

Reconquest Edit

Évora was wrested from the Moors through a surprise attack by Gerald the Fearless (Geraldo Sem Pavor) in September 1165. The town came under the rule of the Portuguese king Afonso I in 1166. It then flourished as one of the most dynamic cities in the Kingdom of Portugal during the Middle Ages, especially in the 15th century. The court of the first and second dynasties resided here for long periods, constructing palaces, monuments, and religious buildings. Évora became the scene for many royal weddings and a site where many important decisions were made.

Manueline favour Edit

Particularly thriving during the Avis Dynasty (1385–1580), especially under the reign of Manuel I and John III, Évora became a major centre for the humanities (André de Resende - buried in the cathedral) and artists, such as the sculptor Nicolau Chanterene the painters Cristóvão de Figueiredo and Gregório Lopes the composers Manuel Cardoso and Duarte Lobo the chronicler Duarte Galvão and the father of Portuguese drama, Gil Vicente.

Évora also held a large part of the slave population of Portugal. Nicolas Clenard, a Flemish tutor at the Portuguese court, exclaimed in 1535 that "In Évora, it was as if I had been carried off to a city in hell: everywhere I only meet blacks."

The city became the seat of an archbishopric in 1540. The university was founded by the Jesuits in 1559, and it was here that great European Masters such as the Flemish humanists Nicolaus Clenardus (Nicolaas Cleynaerts) (1493–1542), Johannes Vasaeus (Jan Was) (1511–1561) and the theologian Luis de Molina passed on their knowledge. In the 18th century, the Jesuits, who had spread intellectual and religious enlightenment since the 16th century, were expelled from Portugal, the university was closed in 1759 by the Marquis of Pombal, and Évora went into decline. The university was only reopened in 1973.

Recent history Edit

The Battle of Évora was fought on 29 July 1808 during the Peninsular War. An outnumbered Portuguese-Spanish force of 2,500, assisted by poorly armed peasant militiamen, tried to stop a French-Spanish division commanded by Louis Henri Loison but it was routed. Led by the hated Loison, known as Maneta or One-Hand, the French went on to storm the town which was defended by soldiers, militiamen, and armed townsmen. Breaking into the town, the attackers slaughtered combatants and non-combatants alike before thoroughly pillaging the place. The French inflicted as many as 8,000 casualties while suffering only 290 of their own. [11]

In 1834, Évora was the site of the surrender of the forces of King Miguel I, which marked the end of the Liberal Wars. The many monuments erected by major artists of each period now testify to Évora's lively cultural and rich artistic and historical heritage. The variety of architectural styles (Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque), the palaces and the picturesque labyrinth of squares and narrow streets of the city centre are all part of the rich heritage of this museum-city.

Physical geography Edit

Évora (altitude 300 m) is situated in Alentejo, a large region of wide plains on the south of Portugal, bordered on the North by the Tagus River and on the South by the region of Algarve. The city is 140 km (87 mi) from the capital city Lisbon, and 80 km (50 mi) from Badajoz at the Spanish border. It is the chief city of the region. The seat of the municipality is the city of Évora, composed by the civil parishes of Évora (São Mamede, Sé, São Pedro e Santo Antão) in the historical centre and the urban parishes of Bacelo e Senhora da Saúde and Malagueira e Horta das Figueiras outside the ancient city walls where most of the population in fact reside. The remaining civil parishes in the municipality are rural or suburban and do not form part of the city for statistical purposes. The city's historical centre has about 4,000 buildings and an area of 1.05 km 2 (0.41 sq mi).

Climate Edit

Évora has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa) with hot, dry summers and mild, moist winters. Its location in the interior of southern Portugal makes it subject to frequent droughts and desertification. [12] [13] As is typical of the interior Alentejo, Évora is prone to severe heat extremes with an all-time record of 46.0 °C (114.8 °F). [14] However, the average summer high is usually around 30 °C (86 °F), which is significantly less severe heat than the one found at more interior, lower altitude areas of the Iberian Peninsula. This is due to low-scale maritime effects caused by its relative proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which also causes seasonal lag predominantly during the warmer period, with night-time temperatures being milder in September than June as well as in October compared with May. Frosts in winter are frequent but not usually severe, snow falling only twice a decade.

Climate data for Évora (Nossa Senhora da Saúde), elevation: 309 m or 1,014 ft, 1981-2010 normals, extremes 1981-present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.7
Average high °C (°F) 13.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.6
Average low °C (°F) 5.8
Record low °C (°F) −2.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 60.7
Source: IPMA [15]
Climate data for Évora (Nossa Senhora da Saúde), elevation: 321 m or 1,053 ft, 1961-1990 normals and extremes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.0
Average high °C (°F) 12.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.4
Average low °C (°F) 6.1
Record low °C (°F) −2.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 88
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10 10 7 8 6 3 1 trace 3 7 9 9 73
Average relative humidity (%) 79 77 70 67 63 58 52 51 56 67 75 79 66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 148 148 203 220 285 301 363 346 251 204 158 144 2,771
Source: NOAA [16]

Human geography Edit

Évora is a pleasant medium-sized city and has numerous monuments. Due to its long history, monuments and buildings are its main attraction to outsiders. However, there are numerous "Festas Populares" celebrating saints, holidays, "Feiras" (fairs) and cultural events (such as televised musical presentations) sponsored by the municipality and other organizations [17]

The municipality consists of the following 12 civil parishes: [18]

  • Bacelo e Senhora da Saúde
  • Canaviais
  • Malagueira e Horta das Figueiras
  • Nossa Senhora da Graça do Divor
  • Nossa Senhora de Machede
  • São Bento do Mato
  • São Miguel de Machede
  • São Sebastião da Giesteira e Nossa Senhora da Boa Fé
  • Torre de Coelheiros
  • Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal, since 1986
  • Chartres, France, since 2003
  • Qazvin, Iran, since 2016
  • Island of Mozambique, Mozambique, since 1997
  • Suzdal, Russia, since 1986

Évora is the chief city of the Alentejo region, and plays a role as an important agricultural and services center. It is home to several institutions with great importance for the region, like the state-run University of Évora and district hospital. Évora has tried to develop the aerospace sector, and has been chosen to host the Portuguese Aeronautical Cluster after Brazilian aircraft manufacturer giant Embraer decided to establish in the city two factories (one of metallic structures and other of composite structures) for the production of aircraft parts along with its European Engineering Center. [20] The city's aeronautical park, which includes an aerodrome, is about to receive a number of other investments related to the aeronautical industry, amongst which the most noteworthy investments are the ones of Lauak [21] and Mecachrome. [22]

Due to its extensive historical and cultural importance, Évora, as well as the surrounding area, has seen in the past few years a great increase in the tourism sector, which fomented the creation of many hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and various other styles of accommodation. Some of its most visited sites include the Roman Temple of Évora, the Chapel of Bones, the Cathedral of Évora, Évora's Museum, and its historical centre.

Transport Edit

Évora can be reached by bus or train, with the construction of a high-speed train link to Lisbon and Madrid is planned.

There is a small airfield, the Évora Municipal Airport, currently without commercial airline service. The closest major airports are: Beja, Lisbon, Faro and Badajoz.

Evora Guide

Evora (then Ebora) dates back to Celtic times before the Romans arrived from 59 BCE onwards. Evora was also occupied by the Moors in the 12th century, who have left a lasting impression in some of the winding alleyways of the old town.

Evora's heyday was between the 14th-16th centuries when the city grew rich on the local wine trade and the patronage of the House of Avis. It was during this time that the impressive 3 km-long city walls were built, the Jesuit university was founded and many of the fine Renaissance palaces and churches built. The city's decline after 1580 with the invasion of the Spanish has left the ancient architecture mostly untouched and a treasure house for present-day visitors.

Evora, Portugal

The ornate, fortress-like Sé on Largo do Marques de Marialva is one of the most impressive cathedrals in Portugal. Begun at the end of the 12th century, the church has some splendid Gothic additions such as the chancel and the cloister. The cathedral has an interesting museum full of jewelled religious artefacts. The Museu de Evora is next to the cathedral and was once the palace of the archbishop. The museum exhibits Roman and medieval remains as well as religious art by Flemish painters from the Renaissance.

The lively, historic hub of Evora is Praça do Giraldo, where the tourist office is now located along with numerous pavement cafes for relaxing and watching the world go by.

Evora's spectacular Roman remains include the Templo Romano and the Termas Romanas (Roman Baths). The Templo Romano is one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in Europe and is thought to date to the 2nd or 3rd century. Fourteen Corinthian columns in granite support a marble entablature. The temple is popularly attributed to Diana - the Roman goddess of hunting though Jupiter or the Emperor Augustus are more likely candidates.

The Termas Romanas (Roman baths) were discovered under the Câmara Municipal or town hall in the 1980's and can be visited Monday-Friday 9 am-5.30 pm during office hours. The baths include an arched brick doorway, leading to a room with a circular steam bath (laconicum) 9 metres in diameter.

Among Evora's many fine churches, the standout is the Igreja de Sao Francisco with its macabre Capela dos Ossos. Built in the Gothic and Manueline style in the early 16th century, the splendid interior has nautical motifs recalling Portugal's historyof the Age of the Discoveries, when Portuguese sea captains set sail around the world. The Capela dos Ossos is a small chapel behind the main altar containing the bones of an estimated 5,000 people and two dessicated corpses, one that of a child.

Other beautiful churches include the Igreja de Sao Joao with fine azulejos. Next door the Convento dos Loios has been converted in to a top-end pousada with a noted restaurant.

The Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Graça (Church of our Lady of Grace) on Largo da Graça has a bizarre, baroque facade topped by four, giant, stone Atlases.

Roman Temple

Among Evora's Renaissance palaces, the Palacio dos Duques de Cadaval (Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval) is still owned by the Cadaval family and located opposite the Templo Romano. Once used by the governor of the city and as a royal residence, the palace has Moorish, Gothic and Manueline architectual touches and is dominated by its large tower. The first-floor rooms (Salas de Exposiçao do Palacio) house a collection of illustrated manuscripts, family portraits and religious art open to the public.

Evora's other main sights include the Universidade de Evora (Tel: 266 740 800) which lies outside the city walls and has beautiful, Italian-style courtyards and azulejos-decorated classrooms. The Jardim Publico (Public Gardens) contains the Palacio de Manuel and the fine Galeria das Damas (Ladies' Gallery) constructed in a Gothic-Renaissance style. The 9 km-long Aqueduto de Agua de Prata (Aqueduct of Silver Water),designed by military architect Francisco de Arruda, who also built the Belem Tower, brought water in to the town and is noted now for the houses, shops and cafes built under its arches. The Porta de Moura (Moor's Gate) in Largo das Portas de Moura is surrounded by historic mansions with a Renaissance fountain in the shape of a globe surrounded by water, a nod to the Age of Discovery.

Roman Temple (Templo Romano)

Evora Cathedral, Alto Alentejo

Evora's main festivals are: the Feira de Sao Joao in late June or July and the food festival - Rota de Sabores Tradicionais - which runs through the early months of the year.

Street Sign, Evora, Portugal

Evora Tourist Office

Praça do Giraldo 73 (tel. 266 702 671)

Getting to Evora

Train Travel in Portugal

There are daily trains to Lisbon (2 hours, 30 mins) changing at Casa Branca as well as trains to Setubal (2 hours, 15 mins), Faro (4 hours, 30 mins) and Lagos (5 hours). The station (tel. 266 742 336) is south of the Jardim Publico.

Car Travel in Portugal

Around an hour and a half by car from Lisbon on the A2 and the A6 highways. From Elvas or Spain (Badajoz), take the A6/E90.

Bus Travel in Portugal

The bus station (tel. 266 769 410) is just off Avenida de Sao Sebastiao.
Fairly frequent buses a day make the 2 hour plus journey to Lisbon.
There are also bus connections to Elvas (90 minutes), Portalegre (90 minutes), Beja (90 minutes) and Faro (5 hours). Buses from Evora also connect to the small town of Reguengos de Monsaraz in 35 minutes, from where there are other buses to the picturesque, walled village of Monsaraz or it is 20 minutes by car.

Evora University, Alentejo © PortugalVisitor

Portugal Hotel & Hostel Accommodation

Places to stay in Evora include the luxury Convento do Espinheiro, located in a restored 15th-century convent and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Other recommended places to stay include the five-star M'AR De AR Aqueduto, housed in a 16th century palace and the four star Vitoria Stone Hotel with pool. The reliable and friendly Hotel Dom Fernando is just south of the historic centre.

Pousada Convento de Evora, Largo do Conde de Vila Flor 32 luxurious rooms in a converted Renaissance convent guest review guidelines

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Évora Free Tour

Our Free Tour of Évora starts at the entrance of one of the most beautiful gates of the city, right next to the Agua Plate Aqueduct. We will pass by the peculiar Casas Encastradas (built-in houses) until we reach the Doña Isabel Roman Arch. Ebora, Yabura, there are many stories to tell about the Roman and Arab heritage.
Near the heart of the city of Évora, Giraldo Square, we will tell the story of Geraldo without Fear and talk about the surprising revolts and even the French invasions. Once near the Cathedral of Évora, we will share the history of this fortress cathedral and its incredible reliquary. The Roman Temple (also known as the Temple of Diana), probably the most photographed monument in the city, is our next stop, and in the meantime we will talk about the Portuguese Inquisition. At the end, our Free Tour Évora Esencial will end in the pleasant Public Garden, just after we pass by the Church of São Francisco.
Come and let yourself be carried away by the monuments that are World Heritage Sites. Our guides, experts in history, are full of secrets and suggestions to share with you. Free Tour of Évora. Not to be missed.

Watch the video: Peacocks in Portugal (November 2021).