Évora – capital of the province of Alentejo, has an extremely rich history. It is the UNESCO World Heritage Site unique Portuguese city-museum, that belongs to the club of the oldest cities in Europe. In total, 20 churches and 8 women’s monasteries have been preserved in Évora.
Évora is one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal. This is a true open-air museum – every century has left its mark and in the image of the city it is clearly traced. Town-planning of the Romans, Moors, Portuguese royal dynasties – all architectural styles can be found in Évora.
The most famous symbol of the city is the Diana Roman Temple. Picturesque Giraldo Square is surrounded by arctic galleries with columns of an ancient origin, with a 16th-century marble fountain in the centre and the Santo Antão Church. At the time of the Inquisition, the place of execution, and now the square that is filled with numerous cafes and shops. Largest medieval temple of Portugal – Évora Cathedral, founded in 1186 and completed in 1250, with XVI century organ – the oldest in Portugal.
One of the most interesting temples is the Church of São Francisco, built in Manueline-gothic style in 1510, where according to legends was buried Portuguese navigator, Jean Vistzente.
The church has the famous Bones Chapel, decorated with 5000 human bones and skulls. The inscription above the entrance testifies: “We are waiting for your bones here.”
Near the town centre is well preserved aqueduct, built in I B.C. by the Roman general and statesman Quintus Sertorius and reconstructed in 1531-1537.
Just 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of Évora is Adega Cartuxa – true icon of Alentejo´s wine history. In this secular building, surrounded by 15 hectares of vineyards in organic production mode, wines like the emblematic Cartuxa and the mythical Pêra-Manca are aging. You can discover for yourself the technical evolution of wine production and challenge the senses with a tasting of wines, hams, sausages, and olive oil from Eugénio de Almeida Foundation.
15 km south-east of Évora is the Cromlech of Almendres – “Portuguese Stonehenge” – the most important group of megalithic monuments on the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of almost a hundred enormous rounded monolithic granites, some of which display engraved symbolic drawings. It is believed that the stones were used for religious purposes in a culture that flourished on the Iberian Peninsula, and then moved to the north – to Brittany and Denmark.