Alto de S. Bento (Évora)
Alto de S. Bento is the natural viewpoint over the city, to the East, and over one of the best preserved landscapes on the outskirts of Évora, to the west, where in fact the main megalithic monuments in the region are located.
On the top of hillock, since the 19th century, evidence of a pre-historic village has been collected, whose oldest phase is from the beginning of the region’s Neolithic period (about 7000 years ago)and whose occupation carried on at least until the Calcolithic (about 5000 years ago).
It is a true “megalithic” village, in that it was occupied throughout the whole period in which menhirs and dolmens were built in the region, and also because there used to be large granite outcrops here, whih have since been reduced due to the quarrying.
In fact in central Alentejo there are numerous dwelling places from that period, in which the most notable charecteristic is the presence of large granite rocks that obviously evoke the true megalithic monuments.
In the case of Alto de S. Bento we can truly talk about the earliest origins of the city of Évora. In fact, the village expanded, especially at the end of the Neolithic, to the surrounding areas, particularly into the village of S. Caetano, to the Southwest, and Quinta do Chantre, to the East; if we consider the various known centres, we are, without doubt, looking at the largest pre-historic village known in the area, and one of the largest in the region.