The fountain of the current Giraldo Square, known as Terreiro or Alconchel Square in the 13th and 14th centuries and simply Praça Grande between the 15th and 19th centuries, came to succeed another one built there to mark the completion of the Aqueduct of Prata, in 1537, which ended at this location.
The new fountain, inserted in the ‘henriquino’ plan to modernize the city center, and especially of the previous water supply structures built by D. João III, was built in 1571 by the architect Afonso Álvares, master of works of Infante D. Henrique. All built in white marble, has a circular plan, divided into basement, shaft, cup and ark in the form of pyxis, with a pinacular top to top the set. As decorative elements stand out eight masks to finish the spouts, from where the water flows into the bowl. The royal patronage of the work, carried out in the reign of D. Sebastião, is marked by a crown with a card in the ark, allusive to this monarch, and completed with the commemorative inscription SEBAS / TIANO LVSIT REGI / PIO FE / LICIS / VICTO / RIA.
With its privileged location in the urban context of the city, in front of the Santo Antão Church and in the same square where there was a daily market, an Annual Fair and the bullfights of the city, at least between the 15th and 19th centuries. Giraldo Square Fountain has been, over the centuries, one of the most important structures of water supply to the population. In addition to its utilitarian character, the evident monumentality of the fountain made it even established as a symbol of Évora throughout time, and above all as a mark of the urban renewal planned and carried out by Cardinal Infante D. Henrique.
Sílvia Leite / DIDA - IGESPAR, IP / 2011
Address: Praça do Giraldo, Évora, Portugal