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About Évora



About Évora

Évora is a City in Portugal, capital of the District of Évora, located in the Alentejo region, with a population of 50 000 inhabitants (2011). Évora is the only Portuguese City member of the oldest European cities network. Évora is testimony of several styles and aesthetic currents, being over time with different and valuable monuments and works of art from Portugal, therefore receiveng the name of City-Museum. In 1986, the historic city centre was classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Évora and the surrounding region has a rich history that goes back more than two millennia, as demonstrated by the megalithic monuments, as such as the Anta do Zambujeiro and the Almendres cromlech. In the Roman period Évora was headquarters of the troops of the Roman Sertorius, was elevated to the rank of municipium under the name of Ebora Liberalitas Julia, and at the time of the Emperor Augustus (63 bc-14 ad), Évora was integrated into the province of Lusitania and benefited from a series of urban transformations, of which the Roman temple of Évora - probably dedicated to the imperial cult - is the most important remnant that survived to our days. The city was subject to the domination of Visigoths during some centuries, but it is in the 8th century with the Muslim domain that will meet a new period of political and economic splendour, thanks to its privileged location. The walls were rebuilt and a fortress and a mosque were built in the area of the Acropolis. Taking Évora from the Moors happened in 1165 by the action of Knight Geraldo Sem Pavor, responsible for the Christian Reconquest of various locations of Alentejo. In the medieval period, between the 13th and 14th centuries was built the Cathedral of Évora, one of the most important medieval Portuguese cathedrals built in the Gothic style and enriched with many works of art over the centuries. In addition to the Cathedral, in the area of the former forum Roman and Muslim were erected the old fortress town hall and palaces of the local nobility. From the 13th century are installed in various monasteries of religious orders in areas outside the city walls. The area beyond the city walls had a Jewish quarter and Muslims quarter. The growth of the city out of the primitive Muslims walls led to the building of a new belt of walls in the 14th century. The main squares of the city were the Giraldo's Square (originally the Great Square). The 16th century corresponds to the height of Évora on the national scene, becoming one of the most important cultural and artistic centers of the Kingdom. From D. João II and especially during the reigns of Manuel I and João III, Évora was favored by the Portuguese Kings, who spent long stays in the city. Noble families (Vimioso, Cordovil, Range, Cadaval and others) settled in the city and erected palaces. King Manuel gave it a new foral in 1501 and built his Royal palaces in Évora, in a mix of styles between the Mudejar, the Manueline and Renaissance. King João III ordered the construction of the Church of Grace, beautiful Renaissance temple where he planned to be buried, and during his reign was built the Aqueduct of the Silver Water by Francisco de Arruda. At that time lived in the city artists such as the poet Garcia de Resende, the painters Frei Carlos, Francisco Henriques, Gregório Lopes, the sculptor Nicolau de Chanterenne and scholars and thinkers such as Francisco de Holanda and André de Resende. In 1540 the Évora diocese was elevated to the rank of Archdiocese and the first Archbishop of the city, the Cardinal Infante D. Henrique, founded the University of Évora (affects the society of Jesus) in 1550. In the 17th and 18th centuries many important buildings were refurbished or built from scratch in Mannerist style ("floor"). The assets of the city stands the Baroque chancel of the Cathedral, the work of architect Ludovice, and the many altars and tile panels that cover the interiors of the churches and the University. In the 19th century, Évora has undergone many urban transformations. In the 20th century was built a ring road around the perimeter of the wall, which helped in its preservation to the present day.

A complete online guide of the city can be found here.