Lisbon – Évora – Cartuxa Cellar (according availability) – Arraiolos – Lisbon
- Roman Temple
- Chapel of Bones
- Church of Saint Francis
- Arraiolos Castle
Until you don’t arrive the UNESCO World Heritage City of Évora the Alentejo Tour starts by showing you some of the most amazing landscapes of Portugal. You’ll be amazed with Évora, considered an open-air museum in 1986, where you can see medieval walls from the 14TH century at first sight. Inside you will visit iconic monuments like the Roman Temple, the Bones Chapel and São Francisco Church. Also, you certainly need to taste the amazing Alentejan cuisine! But, before lunch, you can do a wine tasting at Cartuxa Wine Cellars famous by Pera Manca Red Wine.
Next stop is Arraiolos, where you can see the castle from the King Dinis, dated from 1310, and the famous arraiolos carpets.
- Hotel/Apartment Pick Up;
- Monuments entrance tickets are not included, so you can decide what you want to visit;
- We selected some of the sites that we consider the best to fulfill your trip expectations, the tours itinerary is flexible, you can change anything or add something you wish to visit;
- All the cars provide water for our clients;
- Tour up to 50 people;
Places to see:
Centro Praça Giraldo (Giraldo Square)
The historic heart of the city was dedicated to the fearless Geraldo Geraldes who conquered Évora from the Moors in 1167. In the middle of the square, which was considered Portuguese National Monument in 1910, you have a fountain in baroque style with 8 spouts symbolizing the main streets, built after the Portuguese crown took possession. Also, in the square, you can find the Santo Antão Church ordered to be constructed by King Henrique in 1557.
We advise you to take a walk along the square seeing the Portuguese pavement and to sit on an esplanade admiring the surround details in neoclassic and romantic styles.
Templo Romano (Roman Temple)
This Roman Temple from the 1st century AD was considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and is the main attraction of the city. It’s one the most well preserved Roman monuments in the Iberian Peninsula.
The monument is also known by Diana Temple due to a legend from the 17th century which assumed the construction of the temple in honor to the roman goddess, but history revealed that it was to pay tribute to Emperor Augustus, worshiped as a god.
The temple was modified in the following 2nd and 3rd centuries and partly destroyed by the Barbarians people when they invaded the city. Over the times the temple had different purposes, in the 14th century was used as a safe house and after as a slaughterhouse.
Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones)
This chapel, part of the Royal Church of St. Francis was constructed by Franciscan monks in the 16th century. Because of the space occupied by 43 cemeteries around Evora, that were taking valuable land, the monks decided to relocate the bones and construct the chapel. The design was inspired on the ossuary of San Bernadino all Ossa in Milan and there’s about 5000 corpses there. At the altar in a white coffin are the bones of the three Franciscan monks who founded the church in the 13th century.
In one of the pillars you can see a poem written by Father Antonio da Ascencao who tells the purpose of the chapel: “Where are you going in such a hurry traveler? Pause… do not advance your travel; You have no greater concern Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.
Recall how many have passed from this world, Reflect on your similar end, There is good reason to reflect If only all did the same.
Ponder, you so influenced by fate, Among all the many concerns of the world, So little do you reflect on death;
If by chance you glance at this place, Stop… for the sake of your journey, The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be.”
Just in case all that death should cause you to despair, at the end of the Chapel, above the altar, you can read the Latin phrases: “I die in the light” and “The day that I die is better than the day that I was born.”
Universidade de Évora (Évora University)
Évora is also known by their education, the university of Évora is the second oldest in Portugal founded in the 16th century by the Archbishop Cardinal Infante D. Henrique future King of Portugal and Pope Paul IV.
Sé Catedral Évora (Évora Cathedral)
Being its real name, Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal, built in granite between 1186 and 1250. The style is a mix between Romantic and Gothic.
This monument has many details, from the sides of the portal you can see sculptures of the Apostles from the 14th century, the dome and the lantern-tower from King Dinis. The chapel included a religious art museum with a wide collection of ecclesiastic garments, painting, sculpture and jewelry.
Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis)
Considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO is an amazing example of Gothic architecture with a Baroque inner decoration. Inside appears to be covered in gold due the number of gilt-edged woodcarvings. Was built in the 14th century during the reign of King D. Fernando and is one of the most beautiful churches in Portugal.
Castelo de Arraiolos (Arraiolos Castle)
Dominating the town of Arraiolos, this powerful castle was built by order of King Dinis in 1305. Until the 14th century the people lived within the fortress walls with 455meters length and 6.6 high. Some years after the castle was used as base for military expeditions by earl of Arraiolos Nuno Álvares Pereira and in the 17th century fall into ruin. The walls were restored in the 60s when the castle was classified as a Portuguese National Monument.
It’s worth to climb the towers and see the panoramic view of Arraiolos.
Tapetes Arraiolos (Arraiolos carpets)
Started by the Moors in the 12th century the history of the Arraiolos carpets are one of the principal attractions and symbol of this village. The hand embroidery in wool technic passed through generations.