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New Wonders of the World

New Wonders of the World: Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Its Fortifications

UNESCO/ Raul Laderia & Domingos Bucho

Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Its Fortifications, Portugal

At this Portuguese town a few miles from the present Spanish border, the fortifications began in the 17th century, when Portugal gained independence from Spain. Those designed by the Dutch Jesuit priest Cosmander are considered the best surviving examples of Dutch fortifications in the world. Among the churches, seek out the impressive 16th-century Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção, with its blue and yellow tiled interior. Elvas also notably still gets its water from the 4.5-mile Amoreira aqueduct.

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