Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage city, was impressive. To start, the Roman temple remains, which date back to the 2nd or early 3rd century AD are thought to be the best preserved in Portugal. According to the guide book, the temple managed to survive as it was walled up to form a small fortress in the Middle Ages, used as a slaughter house and later uncovered in the 19th century. The 14 columns are stunning both during the day and at night.
Also impressive was the Capela dos Ossis (Chapel of Bones). Built by 17th Franciscan munks, the columns and walls are lined with the bones and skulls of over 5,000 people. At the entry to the chapel are the words “We bones that are here await yours”.
Wow – right?
Next up was an unexpected discovery of a collection of Nativity models. The exhibit was donated by a family that collected Nativity scenes from various regions in Portugal and another 80 countries . A range of materials were used: wood, shells, stone; each one unique. Some elaborate, some simple, overall a spectacular collection.
Evora was truly impressive, and we certainly enjoyed our time exploring the many historic sites and wandering the cobble stone streets.