Elvas

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Elvas
31202-Elvas (48749062731).jpg
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Elvas September 2013-38 (cropped).jpg
Elvas September 2013-19 (cropped).jpg
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Flag of Elvas
Flag
Coat of arms of Elvas
Coat of arms
LocalElvas.svg
Coordinates: 38°52′N 7°09′W / 38.867°N 7.150°W / 38.867; -7.150Coordinates: 38°52′N 7°09′W / 38.867°N 7.150°W / 38.867; -7.150
Country Portugal
RegionAlentejo
Intermunic. comm.Alto Alentejo
DistrictPortalegre
Parishes7
Government
 • PresidentDr. Nuno Miguel Fernandes Mocinha (PS)
Area
 • Total631.29 km2 (243.74 sq mi)
Population
 (2011)
 • Total23,078
 • Density37/km2 (95/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC±00:00 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+01:00 (WEST)
Local holidayJanuary 14
Websitehttp://www.cm-elvas.pt

Elvas (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɛlvɐʃ] (About this soundlisten)) is a Portuguese municipality, former episcopal city and frontier fortress of easternmost central Portugal, located in the district of Portalegre in Alentejo. It is situated about 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Lisbon, and about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of the Spanish fortress of Badajoz, by the Madrid-Badajoz-Lisbon railway. The municipality population as of 2011 was 23,078,[1] in an area of 631.29 square kilometres (243.74 sq mi).[2] The city itself had a population of 16,640 as of 2011.[3]

Elvas is among the finest examples of intensive usage of the trace italienne (star fort) in military architecture, and has been a World Heritage Site since 30 June 2012. The inscribed site name is Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications.

History[edit]

Elvas lies on a hill 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) northwest of the Guadiana river. The Amoreira Aqueduct 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) long supplies the city with pure water; it was begun early in the 15th century and completed in 1622. For some distance it includes four tiers of superimposed arches, with a total height of 40 metres (130 ft).[4]

It was wrested from the Moors by Afonso I of Portugal in 1166 but was temporarily recaptured before its final occupation by the Portuguese in 1226. In 1570 it became an episcopal see, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Elvas, until 1818. The late Gothic Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral, which has many traces of Moorish influence in its architecture, dates from the reign of Manuel I of Portugal (1495–1521).[4]

It was defended by seven bastions and the two forts of Santa Luzia and the Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort.[4] From 1642 it was the chief frontier fortress south of the Tagus, which withstood sieges by the Spanish in 1659, 1711 and 1801.[5] Elvas was the site of the Battle of the Lines of Elvas in 1659, during which the garrison and citizens of the city assisted in the rout of a Spanish Army.[citation needed] The Napoleonic French under Marshal Junot took it in March 1808 during the Peninsular War, but evacuated it in August after the conclusion of the Convention of Sintra.[5] The fortress of Campo Maior 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the northeast is known for its Napoleonic era siege by the French and relief by the British under Marshal Beresford in 1811, an exploit commemorated in a ballad by Sir Walter Scott.[4]

The Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2012.[6]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Elvas, 1971-2000 normals and extremes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.0
(69.8)
23.0
(73.4)
30.8
(87.4)
32.0
(89.6)
35.0
(95.0)
42.5
(108.5)
44.0
(111.2)
42.0
(107.6)
41.5
(106.7)
33.0
(91.4)
29.2
(84.6)
22.0
(71.6)
44.0
(111.2)
Average high °C (°F) 13.4
(56.1)
15.3
(59.5)
18.3
(64.9)
20.1
(68.2)
23.8
(74.8)
29.3
(84.7)
33.6
(92.5)
33.4
(92.1)
29.7
(85.5)
23.2
(73.8)
17.6
(63.7)
14.2
(57.6)
22.7
(72.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) 8.6
(47.5)
10.2
(50.4)
12.3
(54.1)
14.1
(57.4)
17.3
(63.1)
21.7
(71.1)
25.1
(77.2)
24.8
(76.6)
22.2
(72.0)
17.4
(63.3)
12.5
(54.5)
9.7
(49.5)
16.3
(61.4)
Average low °C (°F) 3.8
(38.8)
5.0
(41.0)
6.3
(43.3)
8.0
(46.4)
10.8
(51.4)
14.1
(57.4)
16.6
(61.9)
16.3
(61.3)
14.7
(58.5)
11.5
(52.7)
7.5
(45.5)
5.3
(41.5)
10.0
(50.0)
Record low °C (°F) −7.0
(19.4)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
−1.5
(29.3)
1.5
(34.7)
6.0
(42.8)
10.0
(50.0)
8.0
(46.4)
4.0
(39.2)
−1.0
(30.2)
−4.5
(23.9)
−5.5
(22.1)
−7.0
(19.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 63.1
(2.48)
54.6
(2.15)
39.6
(1.56)
51.2
(2.02)
44.0
(1.73)
23.6
(0.93)
4.8
(0.19)
2.6
(0.10)
25.6
(1.01)
58.6
(2.31)
75.1
(2.96)
92.6
(3.65)
535.4
(21.09)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 10.9 9.2 8.0 9.3 8.1 4.1 1.3 1.3 4.0 8.9 9.0 11.2 85.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 154.3 161.8 212.1 224.6 275.4 316.2 366.6 339.2 252.2 198.6 164.8 129.4 2,795.2
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia[7]

Civil Parishes[edit]

Administratively, the municipality is divided in seven civil parishes (freguesias):[8]

  • Assunção, Ajuda, Salvador e Santo Ildefonso
  • Barbacena e Vila Fernando
  • Caia, São Pedro e Alcáçova
  • Santa Eulália
  • São Brás e São Lourenço
  • São Vicente e Ventosa
  • Terrugem e Vila Boim

Sister cities[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  2. ^ "Áreas das freguesias, concelhos, distritos e país". Archived from the original on 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  3. ^ UMA POPULAÇÃO QUE SE URBANIZA, Uma avaliação recente – Cidades, 2004 Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Nuno Pires Soares, Instituto Geográfico Português (Geographic Institute of Portugal)
  4. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 300.
  5. ^ a b Chisholm 1911, p. 301.
  6. ^ "Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications".
  7. ^ "Monthly Averages for Elvas (1971–2000)" (PDF). Instituto de Meteorologia.
  8. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, page 552 44" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 22 July 2014.