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January 30, 2016

Portugal: Elvas


The aqueduct in Elvas

The aqueduct in Elvas

About 12 kilometers to the east of the Spanish border is the fortified Portuguese town of Elvas. Elvas was Portugal’s chief frontier fortress south of the Tagus during the Portuguese Restoration War. From the 17th to the 19th Centuries the area was heavily fortified to protect against Spanish invasion. When construction was completed, two forts and several fortified hilltops formed a defensive perimeter around the walled town.

Elvas’s fortifications held against sieges by the Spanish in 1658, 1711 and 1801. Ultimately the garrison town fell to the French in March 1808 during the Napoleonic Wars. Five months later, after the Convention of Sintra, Elvas was back in Portuguese hands.

Today Elvas is considered among the finest examples of a star fort in military architecture. In 2012, the town with its fortifications was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Elvas Portugal:  There's a tunnel from near the camera position to the town.

Elvas Portugal: There’s a tunnel from near the camera position to the town.

A fortified gate protects Elvas.

A fortified gate protects Elvas.

DSC_5914-Edit-Edit

Forts like this one on the perimeter of Elvas protect the town.

Forts like this one on the perimeter of Elvas protect the town.

Becky gets chummy with another stiff.

Becky gets chummy with another stiff.

2 Comments »

  1. Beautiful photos of Elvas!

    Comment by saltofportugal — January 30, 2016 @ 4:09 pm

  2. Not sure what it means, but I read one sentence you wrote as “Five months later, after the Convention of Sinatra, Elvis was back in Portuguese hands.”

    Comment by PeterD — January 31, 2016 @ 6:26 pm


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