Historic Centre of Évora

UNESCO World Heritage Site

"Évora is the finest example of a city of the Portuguese golden age after Lisbon earthquake of 1755 " (IV). "Only the city´s urban landscape enables us to understand now, the influence of Portuguese architecture in Brazil particularly in places like Salvador da Bahia" (II).


Inscribed area: Historic Centre of Év​ora    Inscription year: ​​1986   Current population: 5​6.519  ​

​Fundation: prior to the Roman time  Report: 10ªth session of the Committee Ref​.: 361


C-II: To witness the evolution and a considerable exchange of influences over a given period of time or within a cultural area, in architecture or technology of monumental art, town planning or landscape design.

C-IV: Excellent example of a type of building or architectonic, technological or landscape set, illustrating one or most significant periods of human history.



Inland city of Portugal, Évora lies at the crossroads of three river basins. Located 140kms east of Lisbon stands on a hill dominating the Alentejo plain.


• Historical references

Évora was an important Roman city, Ebora Liberalitas Julia, sited at an intersection of roads in the province of Lusitania

Following the barbarian invasions Évora was under Visigoth rule in the space defined by the modified Roman wall.

The city was conquered by the Muslim (715), which improved its fortifications.

The Christian reconquest (1165) included Évora in the independent kingdom of Portugal. It was the beginning of a period of growth that lasted until the sixteenth century. Under the House of Avis (1385-1580) was considered the second city of the kingdom after Lisbon. In the sixteenth century Évora reached its golden age. It was the time of the great architectural achievements. It was also the era of the great Portuguese maritime expeditions.

In the seventeenth century was built a defensive system type Vauban.

In the eighteenth century the University was closed and the Jesuits, whose intellectual and religious projection had been important since the sixteenth century, were expelled. There began the decline of Évora.


• Urban morphology

The plan of the city established in its main lines in the late Middle Ages, was developed in a radial pattern from the top of the hill. Some squares of the city (Giraldo and Porta de Moura), located in the old core boundary are characterized by an irregular design and were the starting point of urban axes that structure the set and stretched to the region through a network of pathways.

Among these axes, the urban space is filled with a network of narrow streets, almost always straight and with an orientation that varies from one set to another.

Three successive walls (roman-goths, medieval and sixteenth-century bastions), close the city.

Between the walls and the remnants of walls, bordered by gardens and an architecture of small white houses covered with roof tiles or roof terraces, gives unity to the urban fabric.

The use of wrought iron and tiles help preserve Évora's overall integrity.

Numerous palaces and convents in some cases, built in granite of Manueline inspiration, date back to the XV and XVI centuries. The sixteenth century is marked by great works of architecture and urbanism, such as the ancient aqueduct, of 1537 and several fountains.