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Travel Photos...Spain and Portugal


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Evora is about 140 kms East of Lisbon. It has a lorge Old Town with mostly white buildings which are decorated with bright yellow ochre trims around the windows and between the dwellings.

It has a five thousand year hstory iinvolving Celtic tribes, the Romans, the Visigoths and the Moors. It still has traces of its Medieval Walls.

It is pleasant just strolling through the town, stoppng at restaurants and cafes along the way.
I had a delicious lunch under that awning on the bottom right of the photo.
Many of the streets are reserved for pedestrians. The cafe tables spill out onto the cobbled roadways.
Evora is a University town. When I arrived, I soon noticed long lines of young people marching single file through the streets, someitmes carrying banners.
I soon discvoered that it was a University tradition. The First Year students had to pay homage to the Senior students by bowing and scraping. (I just love that smirk on the face of the black-robed Senior student in the foreground of this photo.)

If that black robe looks familiar to you, you may have seen it in one of the Harry Potter movies. I am told that J.K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book in Portugal

Wikipedia has this to say about the Univeristy in Evora:

"The University of Évora (Universidade de Évora) is a public university in Évora, Portugal. It is the second oldest university in the country, established in 1559 by then cardinal Henry, and receiving University status in April of the same year from Pope Paul IV, as documented in his Cum a nobis papal bull. Running under the aegis of the Society of Jesus (also known as Jesuits) meant that the university was a target of the Marquis of Pombal's Jesuit oppression, being closed down permanently in 1779 and its masters either incarcerated or exiled.

"It was reopenned nearly two hundred years later in 1973 as Instituto Universitário de Évora (University Institute of Évora) by decree of the Minister of Education, José Veiga Simão, in the site of the older university, as part of a set of education policies during the early 1970s that were attempting to reshape Portuguese higher education. Six years later, in 1979, the name was changed to Universidade de Évora."
The white tower with a bell marks the Church of St Francis (Igreja de Sao Francisco).
This large church was built in a Gothic style in the 15th Century.
The Church of St Francis is best known for its macabre Chapel of The Bones (Capela dos Ossos).

As you can see in this photo and the next one, the walls and columns of this small chapel are covered in the skulls and bones of the departed. WIkipedia states that 5000 skeletons of monks were used and the bones came from the cemeteries of several dozen churches.

Apart from the Chapel of The Bones, I found that the Church of St Francis had a lot more to offer the visitor.
This was a Franciscan Meeting Room. One can just see the circular table at the bottom of the photo.
The ceiling in the Meeting Room.
The Church has a museum which is definitely worth a visit.
A couple of small statuetes in the Museum in the Church of St Francis.
The museum has an interesting collection of miniature Nativity scenes from various parts of the old Portuguese Empire.
This is an African Nativity scene.
This Asian Nativity scene may have come from the old Portuguese colony of Macao.
This is the main facade of the Cathedral of Evora.

Construction of the Cathdral began soon after Evora was recaptured from the Moors in 1166.

The Cathdral Nave.
Figures of Saints in the Main Portal of the Cathedral.
The Gothic Dome of the Cathedral can be seen at the top of this photo.

The white and ochre building in the foreground is the Public Library (Biblioteca Publica).

After Noon, people disappear from the streets and shops are shut as locals enjoy a leisurely lunch.
You can see the remains of the Medieval Walls of Evora at the top of this photo. Cars are exiting the Old Town through one of the old city gates.
This is the Prata Aqueduct, just beyond the old city walls.

It was built in the 1530s to bring water to Evora, and the arches span for 9 kilmetres. The aqueduct was designed by Francisco de Arruda, a military architect who also designed the Belem Tower in Lisbon.

This is Geraldo Square, at the heart of the Old Town of Evora.
Arcades provide welcome shade from the sun at noon.
Evora was definitely worth a visit!
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