You can also have eggs done any way you wish and even bacon if you desire. The Missus had Hers poached. We decided on getting a good sized breakfast since we had reservations for dinner that I was certain (it was) was going to be huge amount of food.
This was to be the day we'd just explore the walled city, stretch our legs, but do things at a relaxed pace. We always identify the one or two things we want to see and leave the rest to fate; it's not important to see everything, rather, we like to take in the atmosphere, people watch, and see how folks live. That's why we just can't do tours, get on the bus, get off the bus, take a bunch of photos just to prove you were there, get back on the bus, rinse...repeat....
There was one place I wanted to visit in Evora.....
Near the Southwest corner of the walled city lies the Igreja de São Francisco, the Church of St Francis.
Now the church is quite grand and beautiful.....
But what really drew me here is in a Chapel outside and to the right of the Church entrance and is probably one of the popular sights in Evora; though there was no one there when I visited. It's called Capela dos Ossos, the "Chapel of the Bones". Ok, I'll admit, inside of me is a adolescent just waiting to burst out and see stuff like this.....
The Missus had no interest in checking this out, so she went on Her way to explore a bit and I walked down the rather peaceful and sedate entrance into the Chapel of the Bones......
Paying and admission and walking under the inscription that reads "We bones that are here, we are waiting for your's", you walk into the rather dark...there are three small windows that let light in on the left side of the structure, kind of eerie, but not particularly spooky "chapel". From what I've read, the chapel was built, with over 5,000 skeleton's by monks who were worried about the deteriorating values of wealthy Evora in the 17th century. They wanted to make people meditate on how fleeting life was and contemplate ones mortality. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the monks who built this aren't included in the collection......
On one of the pillars hangs a poem by Father António da Ascenção:
"Where are you going in such a hurry traveler?
Stop … do not proceed;
You have no greater concern,
Than this one: that on which you focus your sight.
Recall how many have passed from this world,
Reflect on your similar end,
There is good reason to reflect
If only all did the same.
Ponder, you so influenced by fate,
Among the many concerns of the world,
So little do you reflect on death;
If by chance you glance at this place,
Stop … for the sake of your journey,
The more you pause, the further on your journey you will be."
I found this to be sobering and yet beautiful at the same time......
The Missus met me right down the stairs from the church. She had been exploring and told me we should take a walk through the Public Market...which She said was small and empty, yet charming in it's own way. The building that houses the market looks very modern.
It probably wasn't the best time of the day for the market, which was empty except for a few customers.....
We hope not........
Even after just a day, it's hard to get lost in Evora. We headed Northeast and easily found the University of Evora. So, what's up with visiting a University? Well, this one has a long history. It was a Jesuit university established by Don Henrique in 1559. It was one of the crown jewels of Evora's time as the city of artists and intellectuals. When the city lost favor and the Jesuits expelled in 1759, the University was closed. In 1973 it became a state run University again.
Still, it's a University, right? Well, you have to realize that both the Missus' parents taught in Universities....which I've covered in posts before. I think there's a part of the Missus who feels an affinity for College life.....it is part of who She is and what She is. So why not visit an historic campus founded in the 16th century.
What I remember the most about our visit here.....the place is just welcoming and wide open to visitors, are my first really up close encounter with Azulejos, the traditional Portuguese tilework.
Each scene told a story.......
Many of which I interpreted to be of Portugal's travels to Asia......
We peeked into a classroom and were delighted to find that the tilework in the roon reflected what was being taught.
It was well worth the visit.
We left and wandered around a bit....and guess what? Just as on previous walks we ended up at Templo Romano, the Roman Temple. We really got to see how it looked different during every part of the day.
I'm thinking that this is as good a place to stop for now as any.
As always, thanks for stopping by!