My love without borders for Portugal is nothing I will hide – I’ve been there the first time in August 2013 since it was the highest priority on my “to visit list” and I’ve got truly fascinated by its rich culture, over-friendly, sexy and easy-going people, thrilling nightlife, futuristic architecture combined with old, traditional houses with colored tiles, by its exquisite cuisine and virgin landscapes.
So this time I’m going to let you discover the Portuguese region called Alentejo, somewhere in the south-central part of the country, far away from the ocean but close to the Spanish frontier, so there are plenty of stunning fortresses, almost no rain and probably the highest temperatures in the country.
Évora is for e.g. the inevitable reference point for anyone coming to the Alentejo inspired by the theme of Heritage. Classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Évora definitely occupies an important place in any Cultural Tourism itinerary. As you will rapidly understand, Évora is not a museum of disconnected pieces. What is unique about it is that it is an exceptional collection of streets and buildings with a thousand and one details to discover, it is inhabited, it has a living present, where you can feel the pulse of a contemporary city that is culturally active and that naturally integrates and reflects a heritage it has known how to preserve.
The Capela dos Ossos (English: Chapel of Bones) is one of the best known monuments in Evora. It is a small interior chapel located next to the entrance of the Church of St. Francis. The Chapel gets its name because the interior walls are covered and decorated with human skulls and bones. It was built in the 16th century by a Franciscan monk, who wanted to make his fellow brothers contemplate about life that is transitory, a very common spirituality theme summed up in the motto memento mori. At the entrance, a creepy message is waiting for you: Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos (“We bones that here are, for yours await”). The number of skeletons of monks used for the chapel is about 5000 coming from the cemeteries that were situated inside several churches. Go over and check it by yourselves!
Portugal continues to be the country where I will return over and over again as often as possible and I’ll keep you posted regarding my adventures over here. If you want to come over and have questions or need suggestions, let me know through the contact page or directly on Facebook or Instagram!