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Elvas, Portugal - attractions, pictures, outlet


Elvas is a Portuguese town 20 km away from the Spanish Badajoz. Founded by the Romans, in the VIII century occupied by the Arabs, in 1226 was conquered by the Portuguese King Sancho II. Now here a little less than 30 thousand inhabitants.
This is the nearest Portuguese settlement to Spain, interesting to visit. The schedule of public transport is not very convenient - from Badajoz in the morning buses for some reason absent (at least, so it was in 2016), you can go only closer to dinner, so I had a quick survey.

Elvas inside is, as it should be a Portuguese town - narrow streets of white-and-yellow houses decorated with flowers and ceramics.





Outside, the Elvas is surrounded by well-preserved walls, and sometimes these walls were just in the open field - i.e. before the city was larger. The configuration of the fortress Elvas is about the same as in neighboring Spanish cities - the same star shape with protruding bastions (baluarte). And the history of its creation is quite typical - the Arabs, after the conquest, built fortifications on the basis of the surviving Roman fortifications. Then the fortress had only three gates. In the XII and XIV centuries the walls were built to contain the city that had grown up. What can be seen now is a significantly updated version that appeared in the 17th century during the War of Independence (with Spain) under the project of Dutch architects.


 Elvas. City Walls

City Walls (XVII century)


 Elvas. City Walls

City Walls (XVII century)


 Elvas. Bastion of St. John 

Bastion of St. John
Baluarte de Sao Joao de Deus (XVII century)


In Elvas, several sections of the first wall, built of Roman stones, were preserved. The gate of Miraderiro, whose name was translated into English, as an arch of Belvedere, is apparently named so, because on the wall above them was a observation post - this is one of the highest points of the city. In the arch can still see typical Moorish elements.


 Elvas. Miraderiro Gate

 Miraderiro Gate
Arco de Miraderiro (VIII century)


The Gates of St. Vincent is, on the contrary, the newest part of the wall. The entrance was part of the military hospital.


 Elvas. Gates of St. Vincent

 Gates of St. Vincent
Porta de Sao Vicente (1642)


The Elvas aqueduct is not Roman, but much later built. The city is located on a fairly high hill, so there were always problems with water supply. At the beginning of the XVI century the problem was aggravated by the significant population growth and King ordered the construction of an aqueduct from the Amoreira River. Work began in 1529, ended in 1622. The length of the structure is about 7 km., the maximum height is 30 m. As far as I understood, the aqueduct is still in force.


 Elvas. Amoreira Aqueduct

Amoreira Aqueduct (XVI-XVII century)


 Elvas. Amoreira Aqueduct

 Amoreira Aqueduct
Amoreira Aqueduct (XVI-XVII century)


At the highest point of the city is the castle Elvas. It is small, its history is the same as that of the city walls, with the only difference that with the disappearance of the defensive function, the castle gradually collapsed and at the end of the 19th century turned into a ruin, and then it was rebuilt.


 Elvas. castle

Castle Elvas
Castelo (XII-XV century)


The main square of the city is called the Republic Square. Here there is a tourist information office and the Church of Our Lady of Praca, for a time performing the functions of the Elvas cathedral (1570-1881, while the Elvash bishopric existed).
The architectural style is very unusual and in comparison with other city churches, and in principle. It is believed that this manueline (after the name of the corresponding king - Manuel I), characterized by a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance with impurities of Moorish and other exotic motifs, taken out by Portuguese from distant wanderings. Personally, I do not see any of the above. The building is more like a slightly decorated fortress.


 Elvas. Republic Square

Republic Square
Praca da Republica


 Elvas. Church of Our Lady of Praca

 Church of Our Lady of Praca
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Praca (XVI-XVIII century)


Church of Our Lady Doresh replaced the church standing on this site church st. Magdalene, with an inn and a hospital, built in 1278. The new church is decorated in an atypical  for religious buildings rococo style.


 Elvas.Church of Our Lady Dores

 Church of Our Lady Dores
Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Dores (XVIII century)


 Elvas. Church of Our Lady Dores

 Church of Our Lady Dores
Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Dores (XVIII century)


From the female Dominican monastery only the church remained, the rest was destroyed at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the monastery, as a religious institution, no longer existed, and its functioning ceased the natural way - in 1870 the last nun died. Church of an atypical octagonal layout.


 Elvas. Church of the Dominican Monastery

Church of the Dominican Monastery
Igreja das Dominicas (XVI century)


 Elvas. Church of the Dominican Monastery

Church of the Dominican Monastery
Igreja das Dominicas (XVI century)


Another Dominican monastery - male, preserved better, although part of it was destroyed when building new city walls. Baroque facade attached in the XVII century.


 Elvas.  Monastery of the Dominicans

 Monastery of the Dominicans
Convento de Sao Domingos (XIII-XVII century)


To finish with the Dominicans. In Elvas, there is a church, interesting not so much architecture, as the history of its owners - Dominicans-Tertiary. These are members of the so-called The third branch (after the male and female), existing with several monastic orders (not only among the Dominicans). People who joined such an order, took the appropriate vows, and the order, modified in such a way that all the vows could be performed outside of the monastery. Those Tertiaries became monks in the world, they were to spread the ideas of the order outside the monastery.


 Elvas. Church of the Dominican Tertiary

 Church of the Dominican Tertiary
Igreja da Ordem Terceira de S.Fransisco (XVIII century)


Another nunnery - St. Clara, was rebuilt from the ruins as early as the 20th century. Prior to this, in 1706 and 1711 it was heavily destroyed by Spanish artillery, and was rebuilt, and in the XIX century left nuns and gradually came to desolation.


 Elvas.Clarisse monastery

 Clarisse monastery
Convento de Santa Clara (XV-XVIII century)


Church of St. Maria Alkacheva was built on top of the mosque. Now from the original building there was nothing left - in the XVI century scale reconstruction was carried out, and then the changes were introduced until the nineteenth century.


 Elvas. Church of St. Mary of Alkacheva

Church of St. Mary of Alkacheva
Igreja de Santa Maria de Alcacova (XIII-XIX century)


The age of churches is given out by stones. Sometimes even clearly visible - where the original wall, and where the result of the restoration. But for churches in Elvas it is difficult to determine whether they are old or, conversely, young - because of the painting, which, of course, is updated quite often.
Here is the church of St. Lorentz. I would say that it is not older than the XIX century. In fact, the church is known from the 13th century, the current appearance is the result of the restructuring of the 15th century, the marble portico of the 17th century, the ceramic panel with the image of the title saint - the 19th century.


 Elvas.Church of St. Lorentz

 Church of St. Lorentz
Igreja de Sao Lourenco (XV-XVII century)


The Jesuit College was built on the site of an older college. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, their property was sold, which brought the city a considerable income. The neighboring building is now occupied by the city library, and the main one, again, is a college, more precisely, a city lyceum.


 Elvas.  Jesuit College

  Jesuit College
Colegio Jesuita (XVII-XVIII century)


 Elvas.  Jesuit College

 Jesuit College
Colegio Jesuita (XVII-XVIII century)


Elvas is interesting, like an old Portuguese city, to which you can quickly reach from Badajoz. In fact, the sights here are not less than in the same Badajoz, so I recommend. 


Tourist map of Elvas
Tourist map of Elvas


Coins of Portugal


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