Topped by an imposing cathedral, Évora is laid out over a gently sloping hill rising out of the huge Alentejo plain. It guards its historic centre with a vast outer wall and represents a valuable cultural legacy that UNESCO has classified World Heritage.
The city, with its narrow streets of Moorish origin contrasting with squares where the light floods in, holds two millennia of hsitory. Conquered in 59 B.C. by the Romans, they named it "Liberalitas Julia". In this period, Évora gained great importance as can be witnessed from the remains of that time: the ruins of a fine temple dated towards the end of the second century, various parts of the wall and the gateway more recently called Dona Isabel in addition to the remains of thermal baths below what is now the Municipal Council building.
Little remains of the Visigoth period (5th - 8th centuries). There then followed the Moorish period begun with the city's conquest by Tárique. This lasted through to Christian reconquest in the 12th century. Yeborah, as it became known, had already received an indelible Moorish influence, most clearly seen in the Mouraria neighbourhood.
After the Reconquest, in addition to between the inner and outer walls, urban development moved beyond the city's walls. The city was home to the court of various Portuguese kings of the first and second dynasties. During this period it was endowed with various palaces and monuments, particularly during the reigns of kings João II and Manuel (15th and 16th centuries).
Wander its streets and absorb the secret soul that a diverse range of cultural influences has laid down in this city of the World. There are also excellent restaurants and bars, esplanades, arts and handicraft stores and the youthful nature of those attending its university all adding up to a dynamic of the present with its roots very firmly in the past.