World Heritage Photos

Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications

The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications represent the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Elvas is situated in the far east of Portugal, near the border with Spain, about 200 km from Lisbon. Elvas was strongly fortified from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The fortification of Elvas started during the Portuguese Restoration War (1640-1668), a war between Portugal and Spain, after this war, Portugal gained back the independence from Spain. Elvas is surrounded by seven bastions and two star fortresses, Santa Luzia Fortres and the Forte Nossa Senhora da Graça, the Fortress Our Lady of Grace. The fortifications of the town played a major role in the Battle of the Lines of Elvas in 1659, the battle ended in a decisive Portuguese victory. Important monuments in the town are Elvas Castle, the cathedral, the Church of the Dominican Nuns, built on the site of an earlier Templar church and a medieval pillory. A real eye catcher in Elvas is the 16th century Amoreira Aqueduct. The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 2012.

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Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications represent the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Elvas is a...

The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications represent the largest bulwarked

dry-ditch system in the world. Elvas is a Portuguese town situated about 200 km east from

Lisbon. The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications gained the status as an

UNESCO World Heritage in 2012.

  1. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications represent the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Elvas is a...

    The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications represent the largest bulwarked

    dry-ditch system in the world. Elvas is a Portuguese town situated about 200 km east from

    Lisbon. The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications gained the status as an

    UNESCO World Heritage in 2012.

  2. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The medieval pillory is one of the symbolic monuments of the historic town of Elvas....

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The medieval pillory is one of the symbolic

    monuments of the historic town of Elvas. The Manueline style pillory is covered with numerous

    carved hemispheres, it stands on a polygonal shaped base. Minor lawbreakers were tied up to

    the column for public punishment.

  3. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Outer Corner Gate of the Esquina. The Esquina (Corner) consists of an inner...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Outer Corner Gate of the Esquina.

    The Esquina (Corner) consists of an inner and outer gate. Elvas is situated in the far east of

    Portugal, near the border with Spain. The town of Elvas was strongly fortified from the 17th to

    the 19th centuries and also several fortresses were built in the immediate vicinity of the town.

  4. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Chapel of Our Lady of Conception is situated on top of the Inner Corner Gate...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Chapel of Our Lady of Conception is

    situated on top of the Inner Corner Gate of the Esquina, the gate is topped with a white cross.

     The Paiol de Nuestra Senhora de Conceição is situated behind the gate, the circular building

    was protected by a corridor and four slender towers. It was used to store military munitions.

  5. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: A classic mini in front of Elvas Castle, the castle is a medieval...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: A classic mini in front of Elvas Castle, the

    castle is a medieval fortification and part of the fortifications of Elvas. The castle is situated at

    the highest point of the border town of Elvas, Elvas Castle was purely built for the purpose of

    military defense, it survived many sieges and battles during its long and tumultuous history.

  6. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Fortifications of the Garrison Border Town of Elvas: The Forte Nossa Senhora da Graça, the Fortress Our Lady of Grace, is a...

    Fortifications of the Garrison Border Town of Elvas: The Forte Nossa Senhora da Graça, the

    Fortress Our Lady of Grace, is a stronghold about one km north of the town of Elvas, close to

    the border with Spain. In 1763, the Portuguese King Joseph I ordered the construction of the

    fortress on Mount Grace, the highest point in the region around the border town of Elvas.

  7. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Fortifications of the Garrison Border Town of Elvas: Elvas and the fortifications of the Fortress Our Lady of Grace seen from the...

    Fortifications of the Garrison Border Town of Elvas: Elvas and the fortifications of the Fortress

    Our Lady of Grace seen from the balcony of the Governor's House in the fortress. The fortress

    is a true masterpiece of 18th century military European architecture. Due to its location at over

    1000 m above Elvas, it was of great strategic importance as a buffer against Spanish attacks.

  8. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The small redoubt in the centre of Santa Luzia Fortress, where the Governor's...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The small redoubt in the centre of Santa

    Luzia Fortress, where the Governor's House, the church and a bomb-proof cellar are situated.

    Two cisterns could supply three to four hundred soldiers with water for two to three months.

    The Santa Luzia Fortress was built in the 17th century.

  9. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Church of the Dominican Nuns in Elvas was part of a convent. The church was...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The Church of the Dominican Nuns in

    Elvas was part of a convent. The church was built in 1557 on the site of an earlier Knights

    Templar church. The church has an octagonal shape. The walls, the pilars and the octagonal

    ceiling are covered by 17th century patterned azulejos. The church has a Baroque façade.

  10. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Fortifications - Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The 16th century Amoreira Aqueduct. It took more than 120 years to build the aqueduct,...

    Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications: The 16th century Amoreira Aqueduct.

    It took more than 120 years to build the aqueduct, it was finished in 1622. Some arches are

    over thirty metres high. The Amoreira Aqueduct is 7,5 km long. For centuries, the aqueduct

    delivered water to Elvas. Now, it still delivers water to the fountain in the Largo da Misericórdia.