A to Z of Windows – E is for Elvas in Portugal

Elvas is located in the far east of the country and of the Alentejo region and it seems that many tourists rarely consider visiting which is a shame because those like us who make the journey are rewarded with a fascinating town rich in history and beauty.

A border fortress city naturally required strong defences to protect the country and Elvas is among the finest examples of intensive usage of the trace italienne (a star fort) in military architecture, and has been a World Heritage Site since 2012. A star fort is just that, a celestial shaped design which made it easier to defend and difficult for besieging armies to successfully attack it.

Elvas, it turns out is the biggest fortified town not only in Portugal but all of Europe. Inside the fortress town we walked through the ancient whitewashed streets, cobbled streets which were painful to negotiate in tourist sandals. Along narrow passages lined by houses with blistered wooden doors, Shutters thrown back like the wings of butterflies basking in the midday sunshine. Sagging washing lines groaning under the weight of the dripping laundry. The rich aroma of lunch time cooking seeping out from open windows. Outside of the front doors pots of flowers in various stages of bloom and decay. Fabulous.

26 responses to “A to Z of Windows – E is for Elvas in Portugal

  1. That fort looks fabulous, and if it’s bigger than Sant Ferran near Figueras, it must be huge. Somehow, Portugal has remained an almost closed book to me. I need to put this right!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been to a star fort in Italy but didn’t know that they also have them in Portugal.


  3. Thanks for the whistle stop tour, Andrew!


  4. I’ve just signed up with a friend to do a Portugal trip next June, staying at Pousadas only for 12 days. We feel we need some luxury after the denials during the Covid period. I’m not counting my chickens just yet though, I’m aware it could all be cancelled again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sure it will work out fine. What is on your itinerary?


      • We start off at one near Lisbon (I think it’s Queluz) opposite the Royal Palace, then we go to Visou in the Beira Alta region and one in the Minho region (I think the Amares) and one in Guimares. On half the evenings we have a meal included (I presume in the more remote areas where there may not be restaurants) so it seems a good blend of being looked after and being allowed to roam freely. Not being sure of how my walking will be, this gives me the opportunity to join a tour with the group of go it alone with my friend. Learning to cut my cloth according etc…..

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds good, Mari! No idea at this stage of things where I’ll be in June- planning Braga for Easter! – but give me a shout nearer the time.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I am pleased you made the trip


  6. That looks an unknown, but fascinating place with some amazing architecture.
    Who were they defending Portugal against, though? It can’t be English football supporters because the European competitions only started around 1955.


  7. Portugal is definitely at the top of the list of favorite places. I really enjoyed Elvas :-). Great pics. Thanks for taking me back there.


  8. It’s a good ‘un! Friends of ours were up there last week.


  9. What an amazing-looking place!


  10. Ooh! Fabulous. Like Spain, I really do not know Portugal as well as I would like.


  11. Pingback: A to Z of Windows – E is for Elvas in Portugal – Nelsapy

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