Portugal, Fall 2012

Évora & the Alentejo

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini

Overlooking Évora, the Cromeleque dos Almendres is the most important megalithic site in the Iberian Peninsula.  Its 96 standing stones (menhirs) are arranged in an oval and aligned astronomically. The site was rediscovered in 1966 and is among cork and olive trees.

The Alentejo is central Portugal, south of the Tagus River.  It produces 60% of the world’s cork.

Évora was a Roman town beginning in 57 BC and the remains of a Corinthian temple date from the first century AD.  It has a well-preserved town center and is partially enclosed by its medieval walls.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Moors ruled Évora from 715 to 1165 and influenced its architecture and growth.  Later, in the 14th-16th centuries, it was favored by the Avis dynasty of Portuguese kings, who made it a center for the humanities.

Among the many churches is the 16th century Igreja de São Francisco with its Capela dos Ossos.  The Franciscans built the ossuary chapel with the skeletons of over 5000 people covering the walls. 

The Castelo de Evoramonte was first Roman, then Moorish.  It was rebuilt as a military monument in the 14th century and remodeled later in the Manueline style.  A treaty resolving the royal succession was signed here in 1834.

Marvão is still enclosed by its defensive walls, sitting on the Serra de São Mamede near the Spanish border.   The village and 13th century castle offer impressive views.

The photographs were taken with Leica cameras, the M9 and M8.  All images are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without permission.  We can be contacted via e-mail at fogler.mancini@sbcglobal.net.   Our home page is http://www.fogler-mancini-photos.com/Home/Fogler-Mancini_Home.html

February 4, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                               wgfm

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