Évora medieval tour: Discover the jewish roots in Portugal
Évora is a lovely city full of history from Portugal. Its century-old history has left many traces, so Évora became a must-see destination during a trip to Portugal.
By choosing a medieval tour in Evora, you can see the legacy that the Jewish people have left here.
Photo: Giraldo Square (Praça do Giraldo).
A JEWISH LEGACY IN PORTUGAL
The Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula existed long before Portugal became a country. The contribution that the Portuguese Jews brought to the arts, the philosophy, and also to sciences helped to enrich the cultural heritage of this country.
The history of Portuguese Jewry is one that reflects both triumph and tragedy. During Portugal’s Golden Age the Jews represented 20 percent of the population, but with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, soon the Portuguese crown and the Inquisition applied the same fate to their Jewish citizens.
Today there may be fewer than 1,000 Jews in Portugal, but this country made great efforts to maintain and to restore its Jewish synagogues and historic sites.
The Jewish community in Portugal
Nowadays Portugal is home to between 5,000 and 6,000 Jews and they mostly live in Lisbon and Porto, but also in other parts of the country. They are not affiliated with religious communities and tend to form small groups.
Photo: Évora is a lovely city full of history from Portugal.
About the Portugal Jewish citizenship
In Portugal the descendants of the Sephardic Jews (Jews originating from the Iberian Peninsula) can obtain Portuguese nationality without having to live in this country or to speak very good Portuguese. To obtain it, they have to prove that they belong to a Sephardic community and when they do, they are given a Portuguese birth certificate, with which they can issue the Portuguese Citizen Card and the Portuguese Passport.
Jewish legacy tours
In Portugal you will find a rich culture, some exquisite gastronomy, a lot of stunning archaeological remains along with Jewish Heritage sites, impressive seaside and beautiful villages.
Join a Carameltrail Jewish legacy tour and find out more about the Jewish cultural literacy. Experience Portugal from a Jewish perspective, with our qualified guide and tour organizer.
THE ALENTEJO WINE REGION IN PORTUGAL
Situated between Algarve and Lisbon regions, Alentejo is famous for producing unique wines. It is the largest wine region in the country.
Alentejo has eight subregions, each one of them offering a great variety of cuisines, excellent wine, and this is a reason why a wine route in Alentejo can offer tourism experiences that are a pleasure for your senses.
It is in this marvelous region that the city of Evora is placed.
Alentejo is one of Portugal’s most serene and naturally scenic wine regions
Is Evora worth visiting?
Evora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this is due to its old town center, its Roman, medieval era and to the 17th century walls.
Evora appears in Portuguese travel guides as one of the best options for a day trip from Lisbon. Here are some reasons why we think Evora should be on your itinerary when travelling to Portugal:
Photo: Igreja da Graça. Evora, Portugal.
Evora is lovely and definitely deserves a visit!
DAY TRIPS FROM LISBON: EVORA
In Portugal there are many great destinations for day trips in the Lisbon region, but many travelers can’t resist going a little further and explore historic Évora.
The city can be reached from Lisbon by train, by bus or driving. All three of them take over 90 minutes. The train journey may be more pleasant and it offers more room.
Those who prefer to drive for a Lisbon to Evora day trip may take the A2 and A6 highways. The advantage is that you can stop at some fascinating megalithic sites, like the Almendres Cromlech, which is known as the “Portuguese Stonehenge.”
Sometimes referred to as an open-air museum, Evora is truly special
Photo: The Almendres Cromlech, which is known as the Portuguese Stonehenge.
VISIT EVORA IN PORTUGAL
UNESCO considers Evora a museum-city that has roots dating to roman times. Some of the top highlights in Evora are the architecture of the white houses, the tiles (azulejos) and the balconies. These converts Evora to an inspiration to build other Portuguese cities in Brazil, like Salvador da Bahia.
UNESCO also brings another strong reason to visit Evora: the old wall, the Aqueduto da Água de Prata (Agua de Prata Aqueduct), its medieval buildings like the cathedral, the convents, palaces or squares.
An Evora Portugal map
Evora, located in the Alentejo region in Portugal, sits on a small hill and most of its main tourist attractions lie within its well-preserved Medieval stone walls.
If you want to better know the place, here is an interactive map of Evora you can visit.
Join a Évora medieval tour
Evora sounds good within the Portugal tours. So, wear your comfortable shoes and join our guide to see this city´s abundant architectural wonders. Stroll the medieval walls, visit the grand Évora Cathedral, see the ancient Roman ruins of Templo Romano, and experience the macabre 16th-century Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones).
Photo: Evora’s 2000-year-old Roman Temple.
THINGS TO DO IN EVORA PORTUGAL
Among the best things you can do while in Evora, we recommend:
Photo: Chapel of Bones in Portugal.
Visit the museum of Evora
The Evora Museum (Museu Frei Manuel do Cenáculo) is one of the most important in this city. The facade looks fantastic, but inside it´s even greater. If you are in the mood to visit it, head towards the highest part of the city, where you can also find the Cathedral and the Roman Temple.
Photo: Cathedral of Evora.
DON´T MISS THE CHAPEL OF BONES IN PORTUGAL (CAPELA DOS OSSOS)
The Chapel of Bones is located inside the Igreja de Sao Francisco from Evora.
This chapel is one of the trade marks in Evora. It was built in the 17th century and its goal is to bring a message about the fragility of human life. This message clearly comes across the visitors right at its entrance through the sign “We bones that are here, for yours we wait”.
Bones and human skulls are carefully spread and connected and they cover the walls in Bones Chapel. Besides, other than the bones themselves, some religious statues and paintings in Renaissance and Baroque styles also decorate the Chapel of Bones.
The Bones Chapel is one of the most popular monuments in Evora
Photo: Chapel of the Bones, inside Church of St. Francis, Evora. Gerd Eichmann. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Aqueduto da Água de Prata
Literally meaning the “Aqueduct of Silver Water”, the Agua de Prata Aqueduct is the proof of the 16th century engineering. It was built to ensure that Evora would not run out of clean drinking water during the hot and dry summers. If you want a different experience here, get up-close to the structure and take the 8 kilometre-long Agua de Prata footpath because it runs alongside part of this aqueduct and reaches fields and farms outside the city walls.
Roman Baths Ruins
Evora Roman Baths were most probably built between the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. They were the public Thermae of the city back then and were also probably the largest public building in Roman Evora. When talking about Roman baths, they were an essential part in the life of the people living here in ancient times. Besides the hygiene purpose, the baths were places where people could talk, hang out and even negotiate.
Photo: Cathedral of Evora.
FOLLOW THE FOOTPRINTS OF THE JEWISH LEGACY IN EVORA
Discover with us Portugal and his people, its history and culture, all in a relaxed private tour, tailored to your needs, while tasting the gastronomy and learn about the Jewish roots outside the touristy areas.
Evora is a source of endless wealth, both from the historical and the archaeological point of view. In this city placed in the heart of Alentejo, a lot was destroyed and then rebuilt throughout the centuries. But still a lot of that history can be seen today.
Travel to Portugal and find the public baths here, the Convento do Espinheiro from Evora and a lot more! Close your eyes and, who knows, venture yourself in a timeless imaginary bath in the Roman Thermae.