To the south of Lisbon and south of the Targus River is a region of the Great Plains known as the Province of Alentejo. The historic Evora is located in the heart of the area. With a population of 50,000 in 2006, Evora is a future-oriented city but has a well-preserved urban centre and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Evora has historical monuments dating back to 2000, and well-preserved monuments represent many different historical periods. Many of the old city walls are still intact. Among these old city walls, there are no less than 4,000 different places of interest, including gates, palaces, churches, squares, etc., representing the style from Rome to Visigoth and Moors and beyond.
Evora's Gothic cathedral sits on a hilltop, dating back to the 13th century and supplemented in the 14th century. The Gothic Church of Saint John the Evangelist is right next to the cathedral and is an awesome building that was built in 1485. Be sure to check the beautiful hand-painted tiles in the nave.
Another wonderful monument in Evora is the Vasco da Gama Palace. Its cloister is in Manueline style, and the frescoes are obviously in the Renaissance period. The University of Evora is also a must-see, starting at the Jesuit College in 1551. The Jesuits were expelled in the 18th century, but some fine monuments are still preserved, including the cloisters of the 17th-18th century and the 16th-century Mannerist churches.
The most famous landmark of Evora is the town centre, which is the remains of the Roman temple of Evora, which dates back to the first century. To illustrate the life of the Evora monument, 14 granite pillars still stand after 2000.
All in all, Evora is a complete example of Portugal's "golden age."