The walled city of Évora with its Chapel of bones, Prata Aqueduct, Roman temple and many other wonders! A world heritage UNESCO site, a member of the “Most Ancient European Towns Network” and more than 5000 years old! Driving from Lisbon to Évora 83 miles (134 kms) takes 1½ hours. The drive is relaxing and scenic. You can also get here by train or bus.
Trains depart from Lisbon’s Oriente Station, connected to the Red Metro Line and located within the Parque das Nações area. Évora Train Station is the final stop on the service from Lisbon and south of the city. It takes 10 minutes to walk (500 mts) along the Avenida dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra to the city walls.
Buses for Évora depart hourly from Lisbon’s Sete Rios Bus Station, served by the Jardim Zoológico Metro Station on the Blue Metro Line. Évora Bus Station is on the west side of the city, a 200 mts walk to the city walls. Once you get into the walled city, all roads lead to the main square, Giraldo. In fact, the Henriquina fountain located in the square, dating back to 1570, includes eight jets symbolizing the eight streets that lead to the square. To see more pictures, click here.
The atmosphere here is wonderful. People are friendly, smiling and helpful. The lane on the right of the church of Saint Andrew (Santo Antão) will take you north through the city streets till you eventually come to the highway leading to the Spanish city of Badajoz. Here you will find the famed Prata aqueduct.
The aqueduct bisects the city resulting in the construction of houses, shops and cafés built between the arches as in the areas of Rua da Cano, Travessa das Nunes and Rua do Salvador street. It is fascinating to see houses and shops intertwined within the arches. To see more pictures, click here.
The city was once upon a time, walled. Some of the walls still exist and in some cases, modern construction is built keeping the wall within the new development. Below is one part of the wall that is not touched.
The Cathedral of Évora is truly glorious and I got the worst picture of it but would still like to share it with you as it will give you an idea of how grand it is. You will come upon it when walking south from the aqueduct on the east ring road within the walled city.
A few meters north of the Cathedral, you will come upon Évora’s most famous landmark, the ruins of the Roman Temple. There are fourteen granite columns still standing in this 1st century marvel. To see more pictures, click here.
Walking south from the Roman Temple, you will come upon the 16th century church of Nossa Senhora da Graça (Igreja da Graça). This former convent, is now used by the Portuguese armed forces.
A block west you will come upon one of the best known monuments in Évora, the Chapel of Bones. It is a small interior Chapel located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis. The interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones, the Chapel gets its name because of this.
Évora is a little city and I would recommend you spend a night here. There are inexpensive, clean and comfy hotels here also B&B’s. It is nice to wake up in the morning and take a leisurely stroll through the streets and watch it wake up. Grab breakfast in a local bakery, everything is fresh, clean and tasty. Also, dinner can be a treat if you select a restaurant wisely. Walk around, browse menus, make your choice. Many offer local delicacies. We chose to drive here and make it a one night stop on our way to the Algarve region. It was a good choice although, Évora can also be a one day excursion from Lisbon. Taking the first train from there and the last train back from Évora.
- We felt very safe here, walking around the city is relaxed, and friendly. People will assist you.
- Food is priced by European standards which is a bit on the costly side but it is clean and fresh.
- Local hotels are very gracious, helpful and understanding if you need anything.
- You can walk inside the walled city and do not need to take a taxi.