Suggestions in this region 7 Regions ALENTEJO NORTH ALENTEJO ELVAS


Sentinel over the Alentejo border

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Elvas is a place full of history, located at the top of a 320m high hill, overlooking Gaia and Guadiana valleys, as well as the connecting plain. It was once the fifth Portuguese city. Its geographical position near the Spanish border played a major role in the defence line, since Elvas controlled the entrance to the Lisbon road. First of all, Elvas is a true museum-city with fortresses dating back to different periods, from Medieval walls to 16th century bastions. After the Restoration of Independence, a bastion-like perimeter was built around the city, along with two high-dimensioned forts: Santa Luzia and Graça forts, located in two mounts above the city wall. In terms of engineering, Amoreira Aqueduct that once supplied the city is one of its symbolical monuments. After centuries of wars against Castile, Elvas has always enjoyed a privileged geographical location by the border. Firstly, the arrival of the railway in 1864, connecting Elvas with Spain and with the by that time civilised Europe. Later, all economical activities related to goods’ import and export have flourished, not always in legal terms, so to speak. Now that borders have disappeared within the scope of European construction, Elvas seeks for another way of fuelling local economy. Even though the logistics’’ platform may play an important role in that matter, the heritage promotion will also increase both the number of visitors and of revenues. For that reason, in 1942, António Ferro built here the first Pousada de Portugal, namely Santa Maria Pousada, known for its restaurant, which is one of the most famous restaurants of the region.


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