ELVAS included in World Heritage List

ImageThe fortifications of Elvas were included in the new World Heritage List by UNESCO.  Elvas is a city located in the District of Portalegre in North Alentejo (Alto Alentejo.)  It is located about 5 miles (in a straight line) East from the Spanish city of Badajoz.  Due to its close proximity to Spain it was one of the most important border strongholds in Portugal and it has the largest fortified defensive walls in Europe. These  star-shaped Walls of Elvas were just included in the Wolrd Heritage List by UNESCO.

It is believed the first inhabitants of this city were the Goths and the Celts. The name “Helvas” was given to the city by the Romans.  In 714 it was conquered by the Arabs.  Today, there are still monuments and other traces of these cultures.  In 1166, during the reign of D. Afonso Henriques, it was conquered from the Moors but lost and reconquered a few times before finally becoming part of the Portuguese Territory in 1229.  Its motto is: “Strong Moments, Unique Monuments”  (Momentos Fortes, Monumentos Unicos)

Image Megalithic Monument in Elvas


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