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World Heritage

Historic Centre of Évora

Description

Located in the Alentejo lowlands, at the confluence of three major hydrographic basins – Tagus, Sado and Guadiana and a millennial crossroads of commercial routes in the peninsula, Évora was, from ancient times, a prominent political and social centre boasting a two million year history.
A road system and an urban grid that can still be seen today, as well as the Temple of Diana are the main testimonies to the Roman presence in Évora. From Muslim occupation of the late Roman defence walls, we can still see some tortuous road layouts in the older parts of the historic centre. During the Middle Ages, Évora had a prominent position in the Portuguese reign, having expanded to the limits of the second wall, known as New Wall. Construction of the Cathedral dates from the same period, as it was the first example of a Portuguese Gothic monument. The establishment of a University in 1556 reinforced the city’s cultural dimension and led to a cosmopolitan artistic, architectural and landscape production that can still be seen today in Renaissance, Mannerist, and Baroque convents and palaces justifying Évora’s inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1986.