Today's route took us across country but with a new face in the van! As the kids are very taken with their new friends , we offered to take Libby and Rana to see the bone chapel at Evora whilst Den, Amber, Keir and Lottie headed up through the centre of Alentejo... Hoping to exchange stories, they'd headed up to grab some of the famous Alentejo cuisine enroute and perhaps see places along the coast...
We'd decided that a short trip was necessary via the A2 but that we'd hope to try and see places like Beja, Viano do Alentejo before arriving in Evora. Rising out of the Alentejo plains is the magnificent walled city of Evora, complete with more churches than you'd could ever need... Plus the amazing and perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to see an 'ossification chapel'... so having recently left Andalusia where we'd been amazed by Nerja's Caves or earlier in our trip by the Pyrennes 'Pic du Midi'... what would we find?
I'll let the pictures do the talking and allow you to be amazed before I pick up the story after you've scrolled down!
It's hard to convey in words just how amazing this experience was... and even better to share it with two kids who were enthralled from the moment they took their first glimpse inside the ossification chapel at Capel Dos Ossos!! Walking through doors that bear the title ' We, the bones that are here, await yours'! Some 5,000 bones have been preserved in history not out of some misguided needs, but more pragmatic ones!! The graveyards within the walled city were full and where do you put the bones of those who die... a difficult problem, with a unique solution!!
But Evora is much more than just this chapel, so we set off on our bikes to discover as much as time would allow... Flying down the steeply sloping streets, down impossibly narrow alleys to find the other highlights of Evora! The city dates back to Roman times and flourished through the Middle Ages as a centre of learning and the arts!
It fluctuated in power and prominence due to Spain's annexing of the region, but it's historical sites and significance to Portuguese history meant it was awarded UNESCO status in 1986... For the record, and perhaps for your visit, dont miss these amazing places too
If only we'd had more time, we'd have loved to take in the Megaliths tour to the SW of Evora, but time was pressing and we had a date in Sintra... so we treked further north... for hopefully a special weekend in Lisbon!
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