Evora museums tell the story of the city and Alentejo, Portugal. These museums are places where the past is shown on exhibits. But, in many cases, also on the walls of important buildings which witnessed hundreds of years go by slowly.
The museums of Evora are perfectly integrated in the historical centre. This allows you to visit some of them while you also explore the monuments in Evora. After all, Evora is the museum-city, world heritage according to UNESCO. Remember?
This list will help you select which museums you want to know and organise your visit according to your time. The information below was collected from the museums themselves and is subject to alterations that are their responsibility.
Fórum Eugénio de Almeida and Casas Pintadas
In the city of Evora, Fundação Eugénio de Almeida has an essential role at social, educational and cultural levels. This foundation is well-known across Portugal and the whole world for its Alentejo wine production in Adega da Cartuxa.
But a visit to the museums in Evora has to include a stop by Forum Eugénio de Almeida. The building where it is housed since 2013 is, in itself, part of the (not so happy) history of Portugal, since it was the old Inquisition Palace in the city, obviously remodelled. The exhibitions we find today have a special focus on worldwide contemporary art, covering photography, painting, sculpture, installations,…
In the exterior, we find the Jardim das Casas Pintadas (Garden of the Painted Houses), a gallery with palatial wall paintings from the second half of the 16th century. This set of sacred and profane Renaissance frescoes is unique in Portugal.
Timetable: 10.00-18.00 (October-April), 10.00-19.00 (May-September) (closed on Mondays)
Price: 4€ (50% discount for visitors 65+ and students); free on Sundays and for minors accompanied by an adult.
Evora Museum, remodelled in 2009, is more than 100 years old. The interior of the building itself is already worthy of a visit. The collection started with items collected by Dr. Augusto Filipe Simões during the 1870s. Then, it had Roman, Visigoth and Moorish pieces from Roman Temple, King Manuel Palace and Giraldo Square.
Today, the highlight in the Museum of Evora goes to the set of 13 panels representing the Life of the Virgin and 6 smaller panels of the Passion of Christ painted in mid-15th century by unknown artists from the school of Bruges. Apart from these pieces, you can see paintings by renowned artists like Francisco Henriques, Garcia Fernandes, Mestre do Sardoal, Theniers, Avercamp, Avelar Rebelo,… Also relevant are the Roman statues and aras votivas (rocks erected in someone’s memory), medieval times tombs, the tile of the Anunciação da Virgem (Annunciation of the Virgin Mary), the Limoges enamel,… Altogether, there are more than 20,000 objects with the most diverse subjects.
Timetable: 10.00-18.00 (Wednesdays to Sundays), 14.00-18.00 (Tuesdays) (closed on Mondays)
Price: 1,50€, free for children under 14, 1€ 14-25 and pensioners, 0.75€ for visitors 65+
Cadaval Palace and Loios Church
The Palácio dos Duques de Cadaval (Cadaval Palace), 14th century, sits on Evora wall, with emphasis on the Torre das Cinco Quinas (Five Corners Tower). Besides the extremely nice Jardim do Paço (Palace Garden), free entrance, it is possible to visit the showroom of Casa Cadaval (Cadaval House), part of the palace. In this nice museum in Evora, you can see old paintings, furniture, old manuscripts, a collection of Illuminated codices, armoury, sculptures,… The great kitchen deserves a visit too.
The small Igreja dos Lóios (Loios Church) is part of the family property, having been used throughout the centuries as their pantheon. Notice the Manueline style right at the entrance, with a view over the Roman Temple. This is, surely, one of the most beautiful churches in Evora. When you enter, you will immediately come across the magnificent tile panels, with the dominant blue standing out from the white walls. Make sure you see the sacristy, the main chapel, the Chapter House and every single detail.
Timetable: 10.00-18.00 (closed on Mondays)
Price: 7€ (4€ groups over 20 people)
Convento dos Remédios – Museum space
Founded by the Archbishop of Evora in 1606 to accommodate the friars of the Ordem dos Carmelitas Descalços (Order of Discalced Carmelites), the Convento de Nossa Senhora dos Remédios (Convent of Our Lady of Remedies) is a building with austere lines. Nowadays, it is clearly dedicated to culture, since part of the building houses the Conservatório Regional Eborae Musica (Regional Music Conservatory).
In the convent, you can also find the exhibition Megalithica Ebora, from the museological nucleus of Evora, in which visitors learn about Megalithic and Roman times, so determinant to the construction and evolution of the city. This place helps us understand what we see walking the streets in the historical centre and entices our curiosity to follow the Megalithic Circuit of Evora and Alentejo.
Timetable: 09.30-12.30, 14.00-17.30 (Mondays to Fridays)
Sacred Art Museum of Evora Cathedral
Although the Museu de Arte Sacra da Sé de Évora (Sacred Art Museum of Evora Cathedral) was inaugurated only in 2009, part of its collection has been exhibited for decades in the Cathedral Treasure. By that time, the space only occupied one of the upper galleries of the cathedral. Later, it would change address with the restoration of the 17th-century building Colégio dos Moços da Sé (Choir school for your boys), where, starting in the 18th century, the Escola de Música da Sé (Cathedral Music School) operated.
Today, this museum of Evora displays one of the best Sacred Art collections in Portugal. On the two floors of the adjacent house to Evora Cathedral you will find (on the chapel, corridors and cells) liturgical pieces of paintings, jewellery, sculpture and ecclesiastic garments. The Virgem do Paraíso (Virgin of Paradise), an ivory and silver sculpture, is the obvious highlight of the tour.
Timetable: 09.00-17.00 (Summer). 09.00-12.30 / 14.00-17.00 (Winter). Closed on Mondays, December 24/25 and January 1
Price: 4€, 3.50€ for visitors 65+, free for students
Handicrafts and Design Museum – MADE
The Museu do Artesanato e do Design (Articrafts and Design Museum) is located on the same building where once was the Handicrafts Museum. Since 2011, this space has been showing design pieces too, including an industrial design collection (20th century). The pieces from the artisans of Alentejo are still on display, with emphasis to the ones made of cork or wood, pottery, tapestry,…
Timetable: 09.30-13.00 / 14.00-18.30 (closed on Mondays)
Price: 2€, 1€ seniors/each member of a family group, free for students in an organised visit
The Museu das Carruagens (Carriage Museum) transports you to the 18th and 19th centuries, when this means of transportation went through the streets of Evora and the rest of the world. In the old stables of St. Miguel Palace, in the Condes de Basto Palace, you can see a small collection of the family whose foundation also gave the city the Forum Eugénio de Almeida.
The different means of transportation exhibited have multiple typologies and are accompanied by harnesses and coupling equipment, as well as other pieces related to travelling that lead you to the experiences of the time.
Timetable: 10.00-13.00 / 15.00-19.00 (June-September). 10.00-12.30 / 13.30-18.00 (October-May)
Price: 1€ adults, 0.50€ for 65+ visitors (free on Sundays and for children under 12)
The Museu do Brinquedo de Évora (Evora Toy Museum) can be found in a room next to the city’s Playroom. It displays toys that made children happy in times long past. Especially those who lived in the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibit shows musical, traditional, military, transportation toys, as well as games and doll houses. There is also an old, still working, train to see.
Among the different museums in Evora, this will probably be the one which children will prefer. For showing something that reminds them of their daily life but also for its privileged location, on Evora Public Garden, where the exterior playground invites them to play.
Timetable: 10.00-12.30 / 14.00-17.30 (closed on weekends)
Watch Museum – Evora unit
After being born in the village of Serpa in 1995, the Museu do Relógio (Watch Museum) opened a unit in Evora in 2011. Here, you will see part of the enormous collection of its founder, António Tavares d’Almeida, with more than 2300 pieces from 1630 until today.
The visit to this museum in Evora shows wrist and pocket watches, clocks,… You will also find bracelets, as well as the museum’s own brand, produced in partnership with German and Russian manufactures to honour cities or regions in Portugal. Apart from that, the Restoration Workshop displays its tools and it is the perfect place for you to restore your own piece, regardless of the type of watch/clock.
Timetable: 14.00-17.30 (Tuesdays-Fridays). 10.00-12.30 / 14.00-17.30 (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) (closed on Mondays)
Price: 2€ adults, 1.50€ for 65+ visitors (free for children under 10)
St. Miguel Palace, Condes de Basto Palace
Paço de São Miguel (St. Miguel Palace) has its origins in the Middle Ages. Later, from the 15th century, this would be the home of the family of the Counts of Basto, who rebuilt it after the destruction caused by the crisis of the succession to the throne in 1383-85. Proof of that can be seen on the profane 16th-century frescoes on the ceilings of some of the rooms and the arms on the pediments of the entrance portals.
Some construction work was even made to receive King Sebastião with dignity when he lived here some years in the 1670s, while studying in Evora University.
Over the years and with several changes in the Portuguese crown, the building reached the 20th century almost in ruins. This was the time (1957) when the Eugénio de Almeida family bought it and made profound conservation and restoration works to this National Monument. As a result, a few parts of the building came to life again: the 16th-century galleries, the Manueline and Moorish windows, the Gothic portals. Nowadays, St Miguel Palace is open for guided visits, which show the beauty of this museum in Evora decorated with old furniture, household objects and works of art.
Timetable: 10.00-12.30 / 13.30-18.00 (closed on Mondays)
Price: 4.50€ adults, 3.50€ groups. 50% discount for students and 65+ visitors (free for children under 12)
Metrology Museum – Casa da Balança
Casa da Balança (Scale Room) gathers pieces related to metrology made from the 15th to the 20th century. The collection was initially started with pieces belonging to Evora Town Hall and Evora Museum. Then came other pieces from other collectors. In a small building constructed in 1949 to provide support to the farm products market in Largo do Chão das Covas (square) a helpful member of the staff escorts us so that we can contact with the different measuring instruments for weight, distance,…
Timetable: 10.00-12.30 / 14.00-17.30 (closed on weekends)
Old Water Lifting Unit – Antiga Central Elevatória das Águas da cidade de Évora
The Old Water Lifting Unit opened as a museum in 2004. The goal was to share the history of water supply in Evora. The highlight is the 1930s lifting unit, which includes the last machines used, even after the constant modernisation the facility underwent to satisfy the needs of the population by increasing the water flow. Currently, the station has 3 electric pumps. The building is simple and industrial, of modern architecture and elements of Art Deco.
Timetable: 10.00-12.30 / 14.00-17.30 (closed on weekends and holidays)
Evora museums map
On this map, you will find the location of the Museums in Evora mentioned above. You can drag it, zoom in and out and click the icons to see the name of each museum and its address.