templeoutline.gif (8453 bytes)Evora
Rural Tourism Accommodation near Estremoz: 
Monte da Fornalha

This illustration of the district of Evora provides only a small sample of the delights that await the traveller in the Alentejo.

 Interactive Map of the Evora District

Evora  A World Heritage City
Prehistoric dolmens and stone circles dot the plains. The largest dolmen in Europe is nearby at Zambujeiro.

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The stone circle of Almendres, just outside Evora.

 The most striking of the Roman antiquities found here is the so-called "Temple of Diana", in the centre of the walled town. The "Roman Aqueduct", dating from the time of Quintus Sertorious, was greatly rebuilt in the 17th century. It is near the church of São Francisco, which has a gilded altar front and gruesome charnel house. 
The Moorish fountain is near one of the main gates. The city was recovered for the Christians in the Reconquest by Giraldo "sem pavor". A great percentage of the town, the acknowledged capital of the Alentejo, still lies within its walls.
Catherine of Braganca, came here 7 years after the death of Charles II of England, and retired to the Manueline palace of the Counts of Basto. She later was to take on the regency of Portugal for her brother, King Pedro II, when he fell ill.

The big annual event is the "Feira de São João", a folklore, handicraft and musical festival which takes over the city during the last ten days of June.

Evora Cathedral - 12th Century

The Marble Moorish Fountain

This town is renowned for its hand-made Carpets. These are produced entirely by a cottage industry, and  groups of women can sometimes be seen working on larger carpets in their front rooms.
The 14th Century castle still has the complete Porta de Santarém, with its Gothic arches and Manuelin clocktower.
The Casa dos Arcos, "house of the arches", dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. 
Near Arraiolos is the even older Sempre Noiva manor house.   
After appreciating the many features of the town, there is yet the Rio Divor Nature Reserve to visit. 

Arrailos Castle

The old manor of Sempre Noiva
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The Muleteers Fountain

Casa dos Arcos

Montemor o Novo, a town to the West of Evora, once an important place where the King's Council (Cortes) often met. The town and castle have suffered many a tragedy, the last being under occupation by Napoleonic troops, who were renowned as vandals.
A few kilometers to the South-East lie the Escoural caves. Here traces of prehistory can be seen in the engravings and cave-paintings.

King Afonso III gave permission to João Aboim for the castle to be built in 1261. The circular towers and keep date from the earliest construction period. In the 15th century it became a pertinence of the Dukes of Bragança, who made only minor improvements. The castle guards the walled town nestled beneath it, and the height of the keep ensured a good view of the surrounding countryside.

Portel Castle


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Last modified: May 20, 2006