The city of Evora lies in the middle of the southern portion of Portugal and is a World Heritage Site due to its 5000 year long history. It has been part of local tribe building megalithic monument, an important Roman city, under Moorish rule, part of the reconquest, and a royal residence in its long history.
The city revolves around the historic square where a fountain (1570) was built in the middle and the Church of Saint Andrew (16th century) at the northern end. Here you will find many restaurants and shops. Our other favorite sites were:
-The Roman Temple was built in the 1st century and is Évora’s most famous landmark. It is constructed of 25 foot tall Corinthian columns with the marble bases and capitals from nearby Estremoz.
-The Roman Baths are located inside the city hall. I love how they develpoed the building around these ruins and allow people to come in and see them.
-Holy Spirit College of the Order of Christ is the former Jesuit college constructed in 1559.
-The Royal Palace originally was a convent built in the 13th century and turned into a grand palace at the end of the 15th century.
-The Palace of the Counts of is a primitive Moorish castle that later was refurbished as a royal residence.
-The Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval was another royal palace in the 17th century. It was built from the remains of an old castle that burnt down in 1384.
-The aqueduct is from the 1530’s (not the Romans as I thought). It was interesting to see houses, shops and cafés built between the arches.
-The Cathedral was built between 1280 and 1340 and the organ and choir stalls are from 1566. Your admission allows you to explore the attached cloister and roof with the bell towers.
-The Great Dolmen of Zambujeiro is a 3000-4000 years old megalithic monument located about six miles away.
-And finally, our absolute favorite stop in Evora, the Chapel of Bones. It is one of several chapels in the St Francis Church, which was built at the end of the 15th century. Although the name of the chapel is creepy it is nowhere near as creepy as the chapel itself, because the entire room is lines with skulls and long bones (see yesterday’s POTD for another photo). Would you enter? ???? [Melek – It was definitely creepy]