The Roman temple in Evora (Portugal) is also known (erroneously) as the temple of Diana – the Roman goddess of the moon, hunting and nature. The preserved ruins are in very good condition and are a unique facility of this type in Portugal.
It is suspected that the building was built in the first century CE in honor of emperor Augustus, who was seen as a deity during and after his reign. The temple was established on the forum in the Roman city Liberalitas Iulia.
In the 5th century CE the building was partially destroyed due to the invasion of barbarians.
Why, however, the building managed to survive in such good condition to our time? In the fourteenth century, the walls and foundations of the temple were used to create the watchtower, and then the tower of the local castle. Thus, the ancient temple has become a defensive structure. Later the building was used as a butcher’s shop. Thanks to such use of antique construction it survived to our times.
In 1869, Augusto Filipe Simões proposed to dismantle the medieval elements to reveal only part of the original Roman temple. In 1872, under the supervision of the Italian architect Giuseppe Cinatti, the ancient elements were unveiled, which we can admire today.