“Celtic Ebora: of the yew trees”, “Roman: Liberalitas Julia”, “Moorish: Yaburah”
Our second objective for this weekend, the city of Evora after visiting the day before beautiful Elvas, the easternmost city along the border with Spain, and Badajoz right across the border, the first city in Spain. Now if we enjoyed a lot the experience and what we’ve visited the day before; here in Evora came as twice the surprise. Not only that both cities are off the beaten path of the minds of most of the tourists for what you get to enjoy these places to yourself; you get to see their nice people and traditions, inexpensive great food, history and art literally on every corner. Both cities are near each other, however very difference and oppose one to another. Elvas, a garrison frontier city with its immaculate network of fortresses, walls and bastions; Evora, home to some of the finest Roman monuments in the whole of Portugal, a monumental “museum city”. The only “minor” downside in our experience? well, quite an ugly grey and rainy day.
Its network of narrow streets, squares, palaces and buildings of many epoch and countless styles and the great level of preservation of the urban fabric all were a good reason why the UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage site. Moreover, since its foundation as a thriving city, to the many wars and posterior decline to then thrive again and so on, it is only recent its “rediscovery”, a city transforming and reinventing itself as an ever stronger tourist pole adding to the already long list of amazing cities to visit in Portugal.
Visiting every place and sight is straightforward because of a very compact urban core and overall reduced size. A day is well more than enough, giving you plenty of time to enjoy some coffee or beer time at any of the many bars and terraces, perhaps that delicious pastry and a great lunch all without any rush. Our time here was actually from the morning until late afternoon when we started to make our way back to Lisbon’s airport for our late departure back to London.