A lazy little town in the interior of Portugal hides a proud history.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Date of Inscription: 1986
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 361:
“This museum-city, whose roots go back to Roman times, reached its golden age in the 15th century, when it became the residence of the Portuguese kings. Its unique quality stems from the whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balconies dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Its monuments had a profound influence on Portuguese architecture in Brazil. ”
I visited Évora in 2013. This is an excerpt from my blog entry:
Ebora Cerealis was the name the ancient Romans called this hilltop town rising above the flat landscape of Alentejo. The wheat production in this region was allegedly large enough to feed half of Rome’s population. A few hundred years later the Moors ruled the territory of Yeborath only to be butchered by the Christians in 1166. Évora was in the middle ages the second largest town in Portugal.
Later the Jesuits controlled the city, establishing a university. In 1759, two hundred years after their initial priviliges, the central government prohibited the Jesuit order and expelled the monks from Portugal. After this the town turned into a rather remote provincial town, with antique temple columns and a baroque university in a gradually worsening condition. The industrial revolution went unnoticed in Évora, and little has changed for centuries.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee came to the town’s rescue by putting it on their famous List.