Elvas is a historic city, known primarily for its monumental fortifications and the mighty Amoreira Aqueduct, which was built during the siege to provide residents with access to drinking water.
The first records of the settlement date back to Roman times. Due to its strategic location, from the beginning of its existence, the army was stationed here, first Roman, then Arab, and finally the Spanish and Portuguese Reconquest. In 1640, shortly after Portugal gained independence, the king decided to build a fortress in this place, which was to defend the nearby border with Spain.
The construction of the fortress is also related to the building considered to be the greatest attraction of Elvas. It is the 16th-century, more than 7 km long Amoreira Aqueduct, which supplied water to the city. It was a safeguard in the event of a siege so that the defenders would not run out of drinking water.
The most famous fortifications of Elvas, which are currently on the UNESCO list, include the starry Fort of Our Lady of Graces. You can visit not only the fortifications themselves, but also an 18th century church. In turn, in another of the forts there is the Military Museum of Fort Santa Luzia. Those interested in this subject can also visit the Elvas Military Museum, located in a former monastery in the city center.
The town of Elvas also offers visitors many interesting sights. The oldest of them is the medieval castle of Elvas. Within the former monastery, you can see an unusual, gothic chapel, initially serving the Templars, and then the Dominicans. Its interior is covered with colorful polychromes. An interesting monument is also the Renaissance Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.