The Historic Charm of Evora, Portugal
Evora, Portugal. After spending four lovely days in Setubal, we boarded the train bound for Evora. We had to backtrack to Lisbon and change trains at Oriente Station. It was an easy transition and a fairly short ride to Evora. It was our first foray into central Portugal, which is known for the region’s high temps. We had no idea just how high those temps could soar.
Casa do Menino Jesus
Nine out of ten accommodations we book are with Booking.com. We are not affiliated with them, we just prefer to book with them; not being fans of AirBnB’s fees. Anyway, we booked a two-night stay at Casa do Menino Jesus, a comfortable cozy apartment tucked in under a main house. It’s a charming little apartment, I think there are two units, with a communal garden patio. The housekeeper and her family live upstairs and she could not have been nicer. It was about a twenty minute walk from the train station, which included passing by what we deemed to be the police equestrian barn. Fun!
Central Portugal’s Reputation
One of the best things about the apartment was the air-conditioning. It worked really well, which was a lifesaver because it was bloody hot. Central Portugal really lived up to its reputation, especially given it was October. The temps reached 97°F – 36°C.
The Town Square
We did our homework and found a self-guided walking tour of Evora. The historic center is lively and packed with interesting sites. Actually, the entire walled center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evora is very walkable and we found ourselves shade hopping from place to place. As with so many historic cities in Portugal, the town square (Giraldo Square) beckons locals and tourists alike to sit and sip; coffee in the morning, cocktails in the evening. Although there were foreign visitors, a great number of Portuguese visitors were in Evora for the weekend. It’s easy to understand why.
Evora – A Tourist Destination
Unlike Setubal, Evora is very much a tourist destination. It’s very busy, but not overwhelming. We noticed multiple tour groups while out and about. Undoubtedly, it was due to the weekend. As always we walked miles and miles seeing the sites, Evora did not disappoint. The history of Portugal is so interesting and we were impressed by the ingenuity of what to do with an ancient Roman aqueduct that has been standing for nearly 500 years.
Pasta & Risotto
As we wound our way in and out of the narrow streets near the aqueduct, we turned a corner and came upon di Casa Cozinha Italiana. Hot from the soaring temps, and hungry for lunch, we went for it. While the restaurant itself is a bit nondescript, the food was excellent. From what we could see, it seemed to be popular with the locals for pizza. We indulged, in honor of our son’s 40th birthday which we were missing, and ordered pasta and risotto. Yum! If you find yourself in Evora, don’t miss out on a meal at di Casa.
The Cathedral of Evora
Cathedrals are extraordinary, albeit always a bit controversial in my mind. There’s something fascinating about them, they call to us. Not for religious reasons, but rather for the architecture, the art, and the over the top gilded edges so-to-speak. They are in essence, museums. The cathedral of Evora is no exception as it is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal.
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know of my ridiculous fear of heights. Abi is the one who carries on to the higher ramparts and photographs what he finds.
The Bone Chapel
The bone chapel is part of the Royal Church of St. Francis. The Royal Church is a must see and we were in awe of the sunlight shining through the stained glass. We caught it at just the right moment.
Attached to the Royal Church is the bone chapel. The chapel holds the bones of the dearly departed. It was interesting, but not as much as the bone church near Prague which we found to be creepy as hell, yet stunning.
Click HERE to watch our brief video of the Bone Chapel
The Historic Charm of Evora
This is just a glimpse of Evora. It is a lovely little city with so much to discover and enjoy. We covered as much ground as we possibly could in two days. We hope to return one day, but we will be wary of the weather forecast!
If You Go
- Casa do Menino Jesus – Booking.com
- di Casa Cozinha Italiano – 5*
- Train from Lisbon to Evora – approx. 7,00€
- Cathedral of Evora – 4,50€ (no senior discount)
- The Bone Chapel – 4,00€ senior rate
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