Elvas attractions

Fort in Elvas

Forte da Graça

Looming high over the arid countryside, about 3km north of town, this old military fort has a commanding presence. From the castelo, the fort is just visible on a distant hillside. Partially restored in 2015, the th…
Gallery in Elvas

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas

The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas is a must-see if the right exhibition is showing. Opened in 2007, the museum is housed in a cleverly renovated baroque-style building from the 1700s, formerly the Misericórdi…
Castle in Elvas


You can walk around the battlements at the castle for dramatic views across the baking plains. The original castle was built by the Moors on a Roman site and rebuilt by Dom Dinis in the 13th century, then again by D…
Tower in Elvas

Torre Fernandina

The Fernandina Tower was the result of alterations undertaken in the 14th century to the second Muslim wall. It served as a jail from the end of the 15th century. These days you can climb the spiral staircase to the…
Landmark in Elvas

Aqueduto da Amoreira

It took an unsurprising 100 years or so to complete this breathtakingly ambitious aqueduct. Finished in 1622, the huge cylindrical buttresses and several tiers of arches stalk from 7km west of town to bring water to…
Fort in Elvas

Forte de Santa Luzia

Dating from the 1640s, this miniature, zigzag-walled fort lies just 1.4km south of the main praça (town square). Today it houses a military museum with displays of weaponry dating to the 18th century.
Church in Elvas

Igreja das Domínicas

This plain church hides a thrilling interior. There are painted marble columns under a cupola, gilded chapels and fantastic 17th-century azulejos covering the surface. The unusual octagonal design was inspired by th…
Church in Elvas

Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção

Francisco de Arruda designed this sturdy fortified church in the early 16th century, and it served as the town’s cathedral until Elvas lost its episcopal status in 1882. Renovated in the 17th and 18th centuries, it …
Museum in Elvas

Museu Fotográfico João Carpinteiro

Housed in the old-town cinema is this tiny museum that contains a collection of vintage cameras, the oldest a pocket-vest number dating from 1912. Unless you’re a camera buff, you’ll probably find the changing art e…
Church in Elvas

Igreja de São Domingos

This church was once part of a 13th-century Dominican monastery, though much of its construction dates from the 18th century. It opens only on rare occasions.