Évora's is the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal
Just like those in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, and many others in Portugal, Évora's cathedral looks like a fortress. Its official name is Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption, and it’s the largest medieval cathedral in the country. Its two towers and impressive marble portal carved with images of the twelve apostles make up the exterior, while inside is a combination of the gothic and baroque styles.
The interior of the church
Originally built in 1283, it was here that the flags of Vasco da Gama's ships were blessed in 1497, before his epic voyage to India. The nave is one of the longest in Portugal, measuring 70 meters (230 feet), while its Renaissance organ is one of the oldest in Europe.
The Gothic cloister of the cathedral
The cloisters are formed by gothic arches, and a visit includes a climb to the rooftop for views of Évora and surrounding countryside. The roof is accessed through a narrow spiral staircase of 135 steps in a bell tower, but it is worth it. The two bell towers are different, with one featuring a blue spire.
Most of Évora and the surrounding countryside can be seen from the cathedral's rooftop
There’s a sacred art museum connected to the church, which can be visited separately. The highlight is a 14th-century ivory Virgin made in France, whose body opens out to reveal nine carved episodes of her life. The museum opened in 2009, but its collection was previously displayed in the cathedral’s treasure and also has paintings and sculpture.
The cathedral's Gothic portal is carved with images of the twelve apostles
From here, turn to Rua de São Manços, which ends at a 16th-century residence with a beautiful Manueline (Portuguese Gothic) window, and leads to Largo da Porta de Moura, Évora’s second-largest square.
The cathedral's sacred art museum can be visited separately
Largo do Marquês de Marialva
Admission and Tickets to Évora Cathedral
Tickets are €2.50 for the church and cloister, €3.50 if you want to include a visit to the rooftop, and €4.50 if you also want to see the Sacred Art Museum. For just the church and museum, it's €4.00. It’s recommended that you buy the ticket that includes the rooftop. Seeing the church, cloister, and terrace, usually takes about one hour.
Opens daily, from 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4:30pm)