The Roman Temple
Having walked around the walls of Évora yesterday, today we are seeing some of the main sights of the city, starting with the most astonishing, the Roman Temple. It used to be known as the Temple of Diana, but this is now seen as incorrect. It has fourteen columns in the Corinthian style and dates from the first century AD. It is the only such building in Portugal.
To the left is the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval. The grand doorway leads into the Palace's Church of St John the Evangelist, a rather lovely building whose walls were all covered in azulejos.
The museum next door had quite an interesting medley of contents. We especially liked these Chinese figures.
Next we had a brief look at the University of Evora, the second oldest in Portugal after Coimbra. It was founded in 1559 by the Jesuit order and closed in 1779 when the Jesuits were suppressed. It was only reopened as a university almost 200 years later in 1973. (It seems that the buildings were used for educational purposes in the interim.) The main building has a rather severe look from the outside ...
... but the main entrance at the far end is rather lovely and inside is a beautiful Renaissance cloister.
From here we headed towards the Cathedral or Sé. It was begun 20 years after the Christians defeated the Moors in 1165. The facade is similar in appearance to the Sé of Coimbra.
The great surprise is that you can climb a steep staircase and walk on the roof.
It was a bit hazy for views of the city, but there was an interesting view of the cloister - we thiought it rather heavy-handed.
On the way down there was this fantastic view of a a series of finials.
From the Cathedral we wandered through the narrow streets to reach the 16th century Square of the Moura Gate. It was difficult to appreciate it properly because the central fountain was under restoration and part of the square was cordoned off to store materials. The central fountain was intriguing.
To conclude our exploration found our way through more narrow streets to the Praca de Giraldo, the city's main square. It is a large a spacious area surrounded by pale coloured buildings.
At the far end is the attractive 16th century church of Santa Antao with its fountain. The square is effectively a monument to Fearless Geraldo Geraldes, the man who conquered Evora from the Moors in 1165.
We had by no means exhausted Évora's charms at this point, but we felt that we had gained a good sense of the city. It was time to head to Lisbon to see how it compared to our visit of 1993.
Conditions: sunny at first, but quickly clouding over.
Rating: five stars.