Day trip to Évora and Cristo-Rei
Evora was considered a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1986 and there is our first stop of our trip. According to this organisation, Evora is a museum-city with roots dating back to roman times. The golden age happened in the 16th century, when the portuguese kings lived here.
Some of the highlights in Evora are the architecture of the white houses, the tiles and the balconies. These features make Evora the best example of a city in the prime of the History of Portugal after the destruction of Lisbon in the 1755 earthquake. It was also in Evora that the inspiration was found to build portuguese cities in Brazil, such as Salvador da Bahia.
Unesco also mentions other strong reasons to visit Evora: the old wall, the Aqueduto da Água de Prata Agua de Prata Aqueduct, medieval buildings like the cathedral, convents, palaces, churches, squares. Come and see these places with your own eyes.
Since prehistoric times, Man has been staying in the region of Evora because of its natural characteristics. So, this is one more reason to visit Evora and its remote past, which make it the Capital of the Iberian Megalithic.
Places like Anta Grande do Zambujeiro (dolmen), Cromeleque dos Almendres (cromlech) and Menir dos Almendres (menhir) are only a few prehistoric traces near the city which are part of the Megalithic Circuit in Evora. To complement your visit, go to the interpretation centre Megalithica Ebora, in Convento dos Remédios, where you will get to know two essential periods of the formation of the city of Evora, the megalithic period and the roman period.
A visit to the Capela dos ossos (chapel of bones) can be an unique experience. The Chapel’s story is a familiar one. By the 16th century, there were as many as 43 cemeteries in and around Évora that were taking up valuable land. Not wanting to condemn the souls of the people buried there, the monks decided to build the Chapel and relocate the bones.
However, rather than interring the bones behind closed doors, the monks, who were concerned about society’s values at the time, thought it best to put them on display. They thought this would provide Évora, a town noted for its wealth in the early 1600s, with a helpful place to meditate on the transience of material things in the undeniable presence of death. This is made clear by the thought-provoking message above the chapel door: “Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos,” or: “We bones, are here, waiting for yours.”
The purpose of the Chapel is made clear by a poem (translated below by Rev. Carlos A. Martins), written by Father Antonio da Ascencao, that hangs from one pillars:
“Where are you going in such a hurry traveler? Pause… do not advance your travel; You have no greater concern Than this one: that on which you focus your sight. Recall how many have passed from this world, Reflect on your similar end, There is good reason to reflect If only all did the same. Ponder, you so influenced by fate, Among all the many concerns of the world, So little do you reflect on death; If by chance you glance at this place, Stop… for the sake of your journey, The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be.”
Just in case all that death should cause you to despair, at the end of the Chapel, above the altar, you can read the Latin phrases: “I die in the light” and “The day that I die is better than the day that I was born.”
The Cristo-Rei statue was constructed during a deeply religious period of Portugal’s history, by a population who were grateful for avoiding the horrors of the Second World War. This religious outpouring was embraced by the nationalistic dictatorship lead by Salazar and encourage by the church. This important religious significance of the Cristo-Rei Christ Statue has continued through to today and the site is an important pilgrimage destination but most foreign visitors go for the impressive panoramic views over Lisbon.
We will stop here to enjoy the view of Lisbon in the afternoon. The best about the view is that you can see the whole town.
Our tours starts at 9:30am everyday and continues until around 5pm (depending on the traffic).
Price €45 per person
This amount doesn’t cover entrance in monuments and lunch.
You can check our availability by filling in our contact form.