Towns and Villages

Anyone arriving in Elvas on the road from Estremoz immediately comes face to face with the Aqueduto da Amoreira, which has become the city's hallmark. This calm city is famous for the important defensive role that it has played throughout history.

Situated in a strategic geographical position, close to the border with Spain, it was built at different periods inside the city walls and gradually came to form a complex defensive system. The original fourteenth-century wall (built in the reign of D. Fernando, 1367-83) was later reinforced in the seventeenth century. The walled city, together with the Forte de Santa Luzia and the Forte da Graça, forms an impressive line of defence that proved extremely important during the War of Restoration fought against Spain in 1640.

Another interesting part of the city's defensive structure consists of some small fortifications built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, between 1810 and 1812, during the French invasions. These are: the Fortim de São Pedro, the Fortim de São Mamede, the Fortim da Piedade and the Fortim de São Francisco.

Present-day Elvas is a city that is investing in rural tourism, freshwater fishing and hunting tourism, in order to make the most of the region's natural resources. At the economic level, the region's main agricultural products continue to be cereals, olives and dry fruits (especially prunes).

In 2012, the garrison border town of Elvas and its fortifications were classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

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