Graça Fort, Elvas

Discover Forte da Graça and its great importance during the exterior defense of the city of Elvas.

Graça Fort, Elvas
Graça Fort
© Celestino Manuel

Forte da Graça (Graça Fort), also known as Forte Conde de Lippe, is located on the mountain with the same name, one of the highest ones and very important in the defensive strategy of the region. Only one kilometre to the north of the city of Elvas.


The Fortress stands out as a notable example of 18th century military architecture and is considered by many historians as one of the most powerful bastioned fortifications of the world.

This building is one of the best examples of bastioned fortresses in cross-border zones and it’s classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

King D. José I commanded its construction and the works started in 1763. More than six thousand men and four thousand animals worked, exhausting almost every resource of the city. Finally, it was opened in 1792, during the reign of D. Maria I.
The construction was erected in a zone that constantly suffered enemy attacks, specially from the Spanish forces. This fortress resisted many Spanish attacks during the Guerra de las Naranjas (Oranges War) in 1801 and the bombing of the French troops along the Peninsular War in 1811.

The fortress features three defensive lines and includes some dependencies inside, like the governor’s house, a chapel or a big tank, among others.

During the 15th century, in the same place, it was erected a small shrine to Santa Maria da Graça, whose rebuilding was carried out by the great-grandfather of Vasco da Gama. In the Restoration War (1658) the Spanish built up a bastion to attack the city of Elvas.

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Monte da Graça, Elvas

Ticket Price:

Free Admission

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