Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications, Elvas

#3 of 18 in Historic Sites in Elvas
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications is a Unesco World Heritage Site, inscribed in the World Heritage list in 2012. Elvas is a Portuguese city in Alentejo, near the Portuguese-Spanish border.

The site, extensively fortified from the 17th to 19th centuries, represents the largest bulwarked dry ditch system in the world. Within its walls, the town contains barracks and other military buildings as well as churches and monasteries. While Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century, its fortification began during the Portuguese Restoration War. The fortifications played a major role in the Battle of the Lines of Elvas in 1659. The fortifications were designed by Flemish Jesuit Padre João Piscásio Cosmander and represent the best surviving example of the Dutch school of fortifications anywhere. The site consists the following:

Amoreira Aqueduct, built to withstand long sieges.

Historic Centre

Fort of Santa Luzia and the covered way

Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort

Fortlet of São Mamede

Fortlet of São Pedro

Fortlet of São Domingos
Arrange to visit Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications and other attractions in Elvas using our Elvas trip builder app.
Create an itinerary including Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
112 reviews
  • A chance 5 minute chat with a spanish tourist in Badajoz told us we should visit Elvas as only a few kilometres away in Portugal .cant believe how amazing this town was .how could we have not heard...  more »
  • Something any student of military history should visit. The very well preserved fortifications deservedly resulted in Elvas being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  more »
  • Build a trip
    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it
    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package
    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!
    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance