Historic Center of Évora (1986)

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This museum-city, whose roots go back to Roman times, reached its golden age in the 15th century, when it became the residence of the Portuguese kings. Its unique quality stems from the whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balconies dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Its monuments had a profound influence on Portuguese architecture in Brazil. 

Portugal 1994. The Convent of Loios, Evora.

Evora with its 36.000 inhabitants is the capital of the Alentejo Province, and is one of Portugal's most enchanting cities.  

Two thousand years of exciting history and atmosphere is packed behind the solid city-walls, which through times have protected the city from attacks.  In this city it is really a pleasure to lose one's way, so many surprises are waiting for the visitor everywhere, and around each corner. 

  • Portugal 1994.  From the set "Pousadas Históricas".  The Convent of Loios, Évora. 

The city was known by the Romans as Liberalitas Julia, and vestiges from this period (walls and rooms) and the monumental imperial temple (Diana's temple), still remain. 

During the barbarian invasions, Evora was under Visigoth rule. It occupied a space defined by a Roman enclosure that had been modified. 

In 715, the city was conquested by the Muslims. Évora was wrested from the moors by Geraldo the Fearless (Sem Pavor) in 1166 and flourished as one of the most dynamic cities in the Kingdom of Portugal during Middle Ages. 

  • Portugal 2003.  From the set "Famous Fountains in Portugal".  The Roman fountain at Praça do Geraldo, one of the city's "hot" places. 

Portugal 2003. The Roman Fountain at Praca do Geraldo, Evora.

Portugal 1988. Souvenir sheet of window in Manueline Style, Evora.

The court was resident here for long spells and Évora became the scene for many royal weddings and a place where many important decisions were made. 

Particularly thriving during the Avis Dynasty (1385-1580), it was formerly a major centre for the humanities. 

The university was founded by the Company of Jesus in 1551, and it was here that great European Masters such as Clenardo and Molina passed on their knowledge. 

In the 18th century, the Jesuits, which had spread intellectual and religious enlightenment since the 16th century, was expelled, the university was closed and Evora went into decline. The university was reopened in 1973.  

The Roman temple is the city's main sight, and is one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Portugal. It was erected in the 2nd or 3rd century, presumably for Diana.  In medieval times it was used as a fortress, and later as a slaughter-house, which has probably saved from being destructed. Behind the temple is the Christian Cathedral of Évora, also shown on the stamp on the right. 

Portugal 1974. Roman Temple of Evora. Portugal 1980. Cathedral of Evora.

The many monuments erected by the major artists of each period now testify to Évora's lively cultural, artistic and historical past. The variety of architectural styles (romanesque, gothic, manueline, mannerist, baroque), the palaces and even the squares and narrow streets are all part of the rich heritage of this museum-city. 

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Other World Heritage Sites in Portugal and Areas (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Portugal-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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