Welcome to Évora
Évora, the capital of Alto Alentejo and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fascinating mix of historical styles and architectural wonders that belies its small size and location. The town’s medieval walls have preserved it as a living museum, with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century homes with ornate tile patios lining its cobblestone streets. Moorish-inspired arches, arcades, and bubbling fountains dot the town’s squares, adding to its charm.
Évora has been the home of many conquerors throughout its history, leaving behind their own unique architectural marks. Even the Romans, during Julius Caesar’s time, knew the town as Liberalitas Julia. During the reign of João III in the sixteenth century, Évora became the Montmartre of Portugal, a hub for avant-garde artists like the famous playwright Gil Vicente.
Despite its attractions, Évora remains a sleepy provincial capital today, although it is acutely aware of its cultural heritage. Local historians recommend seeing at least 59 monuments, but visitors can capture the essence of the town by exploring only a fraction of them. While Évora is a popular day trip from Lisbon, it is a long journey that may not allow enough time to fully appreciate the town’s beauty.