Evora, Portugal

Stop #3:

Évora, a university town, is the capital of the central Alentejo. It sits on a hill (as every city in Portugal seems to do), and it is surrounded by cork and olive trees.  The central main section of town in Évora is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  You will see that the streets are narrow and winding.

During the Roman times, Evora was a town called Liberalitis Julia.  There are still some signs of Roman times today with the large Temple of Diana (pictures below).

The Moors also settled in this area in 715 and stayed for 450 years.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Sé is a Gothic-style cathedral constructed in 1186 from huge granite blocks, with two asymmetrical towers and battlement-ringed walls.   Some of the photos below show the marble columns with statues of the apostles. The Museu de Arte Sacra da Sé (Sacred Art Museum) also has some items pictured below.
  • Igreja de São Francisco – this is the second of Évora’s churches after the Se. It dates from the early 16th century, on the site of a former Gothic chapel.
  • Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) is the main attraction within the Igreja de São Francisc. Above the doorway you will see the following (translated):  “We, the bones that are here, await yours.” There are bones of approximately 5,000 skeletons dug up from cemeteries in the area.
  • Igreja dos Lóios is a small church next to the former Convento dos Lóios, which is now the Pousada dos Lóios.  You will see it below with the Temple of Diana.
  • Templo Romano (Roman Temple or Diana Temple) is well-preserved ruins of the Roman Temple dominate Largo do Conde de Vila Flor. It was probably built in the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Thanks to Fodor’s Travel Guides, Trip Advisor, and Wikipedia for the great lessons that helped me to plan and summarize this trip.

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