Extensively fortified because of its proximity to the Spanish town of Badajoz, Elvas was from its founding an important bastion in warding off attacks from the east. Portugal's most formidable 17th-century fortifications are characterized by a series of walls, moats, and reinforced towers. The size of the complex can best be appreciated by driving around the periphery of the town. Inside you’ll find a bustling, vibrant city with a stately town square, an impressive castle, an array of historic churches and museums, and almost no tourists.


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