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Events

Wed Jun 20, 2018 | horas: 08:00 - 11:00PM
XII Festival Medieval de Elvas
Wed Jun 20, 2018 | horas: 08:00 - 07:00PM
Exposição Santo António Padroeiro
Wed Jun 20, 2018 | horas: 08:00 - 05:00PM
Férias Ativas
Wed Jun 20, 2018 | horas: 10:00 - 06:00PM
"A sedução de uma vírgula bem colocada - The pull of a well placed comma"
Wed Jun 20, 2018 | horas: 21:00 - 11:00PM
Cinema em junho

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ELVAS WORLD HERITAGE, SINCE 2012

The application of Elvas as World Heritage was a process that the Municipality of Elvas initiated following the magnificent cultural heritage that the city has.

After recovering the majority of the city's heritage, rehabilitate and revitalize the historic centre with several cultural projects, this application has emerged as one of the biggest bets of the City Hall and the municipality.

This was an excellent opportunity to affirm and value all the recovery process done by the city in recent years. In 2004, the municipality has submitted a nomination to the National Indicative List of World Heritage being integrated the same year.

After years of scientific work, the public presentation of the technical work was done in Elvas on May 23th, 2009. The application package was delivered by the City Hall to the National Commission of Unesco on January 18th, 2010 and was accepted by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO on March 1st, 2011.

All this work, as well as the city, were evaluated by ICOMOS, UNESCO advisory body, on conservation and heritage protection in September 2011. Finally, June 30th, 2012, the application of Elvas as World Heritage was approved unanimously by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO.

"Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications", UNESCO considered the universal value of this asset set in a 179 hectare area, with a 690-hectare protected area, thus protecting all the space around the fortifications. Being the largest land fortification bastion of the world, the classification includes seven components: the Historical Centre, which integrates the two Arab walls; the Fernandina Wall and the seventeenth century Wall; the Aqueduct of Amoreira; the Fort of Santa Luzia; the Fort of Graça; the Forts of São Mamede, São Pedro and São Domingos, reflecting some developments in the Dutch land bastion fortification system.

Criterion

Elvas is an outstanding example of a garrison town and its dry-ditched bulwarked defence system, which developed in response to disruptions in the balance of power within 17th century Europe. Elvas can thus be seen as representing the universal aspirations of European nation states in the 16th-17th centuries for autonomy and land.

Integrity

All elements necessary to express the "Outstanding Universal Value" of the property are included within the property boundary. A number of buildings are unoccupied and are closed up against squatters and vandalism, and are subject to encroachment by vegetation. In particular the Fort of Graça, being relatively isolated and unused is vulnerable to vandalism. Views of the fortifications from a distance and between each other are vulnerable to new development and the visual integrity of the property needs to be protected by a slightly enlarged buffer zone with adequate controls.

Authenticity

The large collection of original plans and drawings, military reports, photographs and descriptions attest to the authenticity of the property. Overall, the shape and materials of the fortifications are still in practically the same state as when they were obsolete in the nineteenth century. The military and religious buildings largely maintained their function or other appropriate use till the present days. The authenticity of the setting has more impact by large communication masts and is vulnerable to a new development.

Protection and Management

The property will be declared a National Monument subject to the National Law No. 107/2001 on cultural Heritage by the end of 2012. The buffer zone will be declared a Special Protection Area subject to controls in the Municipal Master Plan by the end of 2012. This whole area including the property will then be managed by the Municipality with input from the Ministry of Culture through IGESPAR.

There was the need to expand the buffer zone to protect the views between the Fortlet of São Domingos and the Fort Graça.

The Integrated Management Plan for the Fortifications of Elvas (IMPFE) aims to bring all stakeholders together to ensure the integrity of the property and enhance its potential use. It aims to control the buffer zone area as well as the area of the property, focusing on institutional cooperation, involvement of private stakeholders, educational, scientific and cultural initiatives and dissemination of information.

In order to underpin the Plan there is a need to establish a full inventory of the features and structures as a basis for management and monitoring. There is also a need for the preparation of guidance on appropriate design for new and infill buildings.

The Elvenses are proud of the classification of Elvas and its fortifications as World Heritage; this was the result of hard work, but that did not end with the final decision because it is up to all residents and visitors to participate in this effort to preserve this heritage.

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