President Teelucksingh’ Travels to Portugal’s World Heritage Sites

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By Kitty Shi

GPA President Zabeth Teelucksingh visited several World Heritage Cities in Portugal during the holiday season, including Elvas, Estremoz, and Evora.

Elvas is a charming city in the eastern region of Portugal, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning architecture. Situated on a hill overlooking the plains of the Alentejo region, Elvas boasts a strategic location that has played an important role in Portugal's history since medieval times. While traveling in Elvas, Teelusksingh visited Garrison Border Town, a historic military complex. The garrison town consists of a vast network of fortifications, including ramparts, bastions, and tunnels, designed to withstand enemy attacks and provide safe passage for troops and supplies.

“The design of the Garrison made me marvel at the wisdom of the ancients,” said Teelucksingh. The garrison town has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2012, recognizing the complex town as a remarkable example of military architecture and engineering.

Estremoz is a picturesque town in the heart of the Alentejo region in Portugal. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and thriving marble industry, Estremoz is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Portugal. The town has numerous landmarks, including the imposing castle dominating the skyline and the stunning marble quarries operating for centuries. Visitors can stroll through the charming streets of the old town, admiring the whitewashed houses and traditional architecture, or explore the many museums and galleries that showcase the town's vibrant artistic scene. Estremoz is also famous for its delicious cuisine, with local specialties such as the savory sopa de cação and the sweet enchilada dessert.

The City of Evora is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The historic center of Evora was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 1986, recognizing the city's exceptional cultural and historical significance. The historic center of Evora is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, with numerous landmarks and attractions dating back to the Roman and Moorish periods and the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The city is known for its impressive architecture, including the Roman Temple of Evora, the Gothic Cathedral of Evora, and the Palace of Vasco da Gama. The historic center of Evora also features charming cobblestone streets, elegant squares, and traditional whitewashed houses.

“Portugal is a fantastic country, and I can see that their government has put a lot of effort in preserving world heritages,” said Teelucksingh, “I think more and more Americans should recognize the importance of world heritage protection.”

In recent years, the European Union has invested vast funds in protecting world cultural heritage and has also been actively promoting digital cultural preservation projects, using technological means to better protect world cultural heritage. As a representative of the World Heritage City of Philadelphia, GPA recognizes the EU’s dedication towards world heritage status and strives to promote awareness for cultural campaigns from all over the world.  

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