EVORA, the capital of an administrative district in the province of Alemtejo, Portugal; 72 m. E. by S. of Lisbon, on the Casa Branca-Evora-Elvas railway. Pop. (1900) 16,020. Evora occupies a fertile valley enclosed by low hills. It is surrounded by ramparts flanked with towers, and is further defended by two forts; but the neglected condition of these, combined with the narrow arcaded streets and crumbling walls of Roman or Moorish masonry, gives the city an appearance corresponding with its real antiquity. Evora is the see of an archbishop, and has several churches, convents and hospitals, barracks, a diocesan school and a museum. A university, founded in 1550, was abolished on the expulsion of the Jesuits in the 18th century. The cathedral, originally a Romanesque building erected 1186-1204, was restored in Gothic style about 1400; its richly decorated chancel was added in 1761. The church of São Francisco (1507-1525) is a good example of the blended Moorish and Gothic architecture known as Manoellian. The art gallery, formerly the archbishop's palace, contains a collection of Portuguese and early Flemish paintings. An ancient tower, and the so-called aqueduct of Sertorius, 9 m. long, have been partly demolished to make room for the market-square, in which one of the largest fairs in Portugal is held at midsummer. Both tower and aqueduct were long believed to have been of Roman origin, but are now known to have been constructed about 1540-1555 in the reign of John III., at the instance of an antiquary named Resende. The aqueduct was probably constructed on the site of the old Roman one. A small Roman temple is used as a public library; it is usually known as the temple of Diana, a name for which no valid authority exists. Evora is of little commercial importance, except as an agricultural centre, but its neighbourhood is famous for its mules and abounds in cork-woods; there are also mines of iron, copper, and asbestos and marble quarries.
Under its original name of Ebora, the city was from 80 to 72 B.C. the headquarters of Sertorius, and it long remained an important Roman military station. It was called Liberalitas Juliae on account of certain municipal privileges bestowed on it by Julius Caesar (c.100-44 B.C.). Its bishopric, founded in the 5th century, was raised to an archbishopric in the 16th. In 712 Evora was conquered by the Moors, who named it Jabura; and it was only retaken in 1166. From 1663 to 1665 it was held by the Spaniards. In 1832 Dom Miguel, retreating before Dom Pedro, took refuge in Evora; and here was signed the convention of Evora, by which he was banished. (See Portugal.)
The administrative district of Evora coincides with the central part of Alemtejo (q.v.); pop. (1900) 128,062; area, 2856 sq. m.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)