The historical center of Évora was listed by UNESCO in 1986, and the history of Portugal is everywhere in the city.
Located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, known for its production of food, wine and cork, Évora is the perfect base for exploring the region.
Nearby megalithic sites show that the area around Évora was inhabited since at least 4000-6000 BC, and the Celtic settlement of Ebora was here before the Romans arrived in 59 BC and set up a military outpost that would become an important centre of Iberia.
The Romans and Moors left their mark in Évora and, during the Middle Ages, the city flourish when kings and scholars built palaces, universities and religious monuments.
Many of the historical buildings and monuments of Évora remain today, while the city survived the earthquake of 1755 (which destroyed much of Lisbon) remarkably well.
Simply stroll through the streets and admire the architecture within the city walls is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, but there are many other things to see in Évora.
The Sé (Cathedral of Évora)
The enormous cathedral dominates the city.
It looks more like a fortress than a cathedral outside, when two enormous towers guard the entrance.
Inside, the cathedral has more Gothic influence. Try to climb on the roof, there are excellent views of the rest of the city and the surrounding countryside, as it is the highest point of Évora.
The Cloisters are also beautiful and there is another small spiral staircase to climb the roof.
You can include the entrance to the museum at your ticket price, where you can see various religious items, including a fragment of the cross in which Jesus was crucified.
The Temple of Diana
The remains of a Roman temple in Évora evidence the importance of the city to the Romans.
The temple is right in front of the cathedral and is attributed to Diana, although there is no evidence that the Romans adored it specifically here.
The ruins are one of the most well preserved Roman monuments in Portugal and are outdoors for all to see.
They are illuminated at night and are particularly impressive at sunset.
The Church of San Francisco (Church of San Francisco)
This church really houses the Chapel of Bones, but the main building of the church is free to enter and it is worth looking inward.
There are beautiful tiles on the walls, gold statues, decorations and a huge arched ceiling.
The Chapel of the bones
The Chapel of Bones is probably the most famous thing to do in Évora in Portugal.
This spooky chapel is covered with bones of the monks who lived in the Franciscan monastery.
The skulls and bones are arranged as decoration around the walls, arches and altar, and it’s a little strange.
The main square in Évora is a great place to sit, have a coffee and watch the world pass by.
In winter, the smoke of the roasted chestnut carts in the air, offers a tempting snack to enjoy as well.
The Church of Santo Antão is located at the north end of the square, and in front is the Fonte Henrique, commemoration of the aqueduct of the silver water.
The sides of the square are repletes with cafes and 16TH century buildings, I overlooking the square, which used to have a much darker purpose than simply soak up the sun.
During the Inquisition this was the scene of many executions in the city, but fortunately this period in history has already gone.
Silver Water Aqueduct
The silver water or silver water aqueduct was built in 1500 and brought fresh water to the city.
You can walk for about 9 km (although you have to walk back), or simply admire the houses built in the arches.