What makes the “Pearl of the Alentejo” a top destination is the fact that all historical phases of the venerable city remain visible. The castle and the monumental temple dedicted to Diana stem from the Roman era, when Evora was already one of the leading trade centres in Iberia. Many of the streets in the old town date back to the Moorish period from 715-1165. The fortress-like cathedral, an excellent example of early Gothic architecture, reflects the victory of the Catholic Reconquista, while the Praca do Giraldo was the site of numerous executions during the Inquisition. The globe on the 16th century fountain at Largo das Portas reveals the fascinating new insights of the Renaissance. The Almendres Cromiech, a megalithic stone circle approx. 4,000 to 6,000 years old, stands in a woods about 8 km west of town.
6000-year-old standing stones
This stone circle was constructed by a megalithic culture during the transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and is estimated to be between 4,000 and 6,000 years old. Some of the stones have been adorned with eyes, circles, zigzags and representations of the sun and moon. There is also a single standing stone 2.5 kilometers from the stone circle that can be reached via the hiking trail at the parking lot. Unlike Stonehenge, visitors are free to walk around the Cromeleque dos Almendres and even touch the stones.
In the shadow of a Roman fortress
This city is located 30 kilometers from Evora and stands in the shadow of a castle that was originally a Roman fortress. The archaeological museum exhibits cave drawings that are over 12,000 years old and which were found in the nearby Gruta de Escoural. The cave itself, which lies twelve kilometers to the southeast, is open to the public from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.