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9/28 - Our last day of cycling. We rode to Redondo where we visited a pottery factory,

and watched the artisans working. Then it was on to Evora, the capital of the Alentejo Region.

                   

ABOVE - Breakfast at the convent, then on the bikes, and on the road.

Below - The wine route of the Alentejo region

                   

BELOW - First stop, the pottery factory

                   

BELOW - The artisans create by eye, no diagrams or models

                   

BELOW - All perfectly matched sets, the same over years

                   

Judith and Wendy were the big shoppers. Jose carried the wares to the van.

                   

BELOW - Judith hangs out in a small village

                   

BELOW - Another small town, Bairro Novo, on the way to Evora

                  

                   

BELOW - Evora stands out quite distinctly on the vast hotizon of the Alentejo plain, on the top

of a gentle hill, dominated by its imposing cathedral. its historical centre, protected

by a vast ring of fortified walls, is typical of "golden age" cities.

                   

The city has more than two millennia of history, its narrow streets evoking memories of the

Moorish presence, in sharp contrast to its squares, which are flooded with sunlight.

In 59 BC, Evora was known by the Romans as Liberalitas Julia, and vestiges from this period

(walls and rooms) and the monumental imperial temple (Diana's temple), still remain.

                   

Above - The cathedral of Évora was built in a solid Romanesque style beginning in 1186,

Évora Cathedral's heavy stone facade is flanked with two cone-topped, battlemented square towers,

It was completed in 1204. A couple centuries later, it was restored in the Gothic style (c. 1400).

Below - The ogival main portal is a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic sculpture.

The marble columns are occupied by huge statues of the Apostles executed in the 1330s

                   

According to local legend, the fleet of Vasco de Gama had their flags blessed here in 1497.

The interior consists of a nave with two aisles. The impressive 18th-century main altar 

is made of pink, black, and white marble. Along with the choir,

it was created by Friedrich Ludwig, the German architect of the palace-monastery at Mafra.

                   

Above - A major spiritual focus of the interior is a statue of a serene

and pregnant Virgin Mary known as The Lady of Mothers

                   

Above, the Temple of Diana, from the first century

                   

Lots of locals enjoying the main square

                   

Below - Goodbye Evora, and Portugal