Évora: Travel and tourism

Surrounded by plains in the heart of the Alentejo, with its historical center and the unique atmosphere of the old town, Évora was fittingly declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

The city, enclosed within Roman, medieval and 17th-century walls, has been important since Roman times, as can be seen by the ruins of the emblematic Temple of Diana, built in the 2nd or 3rd century AD.

The animated main square, Praça do Giraldo, has Moorish arcades and a fountain dating from 1571, and is a popular meeting-place on market days.

From there, visitors can explore the city's more than 20 churches and monasteries, ancient streets with often curious names or the more touristical Rua 5 de Outubro street, with shops selling handicrafts from copper pans to carved cork.

Évora has excellent restaurants and visitors can stay, for example, in Convento dos Lóios, a 15th-century monastery turned into a luxurious pousada.

The city's Cathedral, built between 1186 and 1204, includes a Gothic entrance with the sculpted figures of the Apostles, an 18th-century main altar and many other treasures of sacred art; the 15th-century Church of Saint Francis is famous for its fascinating but rather sinister Chapel of Bones, made from the remains of monks.

But Évora is also a lively town due mainly to its university. The Jesuits first installed a school there in 1559, but they were banned and the school closed in the 18th century; now, it is part of the new university, with its elegant cloister, a Baroque chapel and magnificent azulejos (painted tiles).
Hotel Ibis Évora Hotel Ibis Évora
$$ (30 to 50 euros)

The Ibis Évora hotel is located 700 metres away from the city centre, facing the muncipal park and close to the bullfighting ring. The hotel is a five-minute walk from the historical centre, considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and is ideal for a visit to the nearby Roman temple or to the megalithic sites, 12 kilometres from Évora.

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