Elvas (ĕlˈvəsh) [key], town (1991 pop. 13,422), E central Portugal, in Altro Alentejo, near the Spanish border. Jewelry is made there. A heavily fortified town, it was important in all the Portuguese wars but particularly in the wars against Spain after Portugal revolted (1640) against Spanish control and in the Peninsular War. The town retains a Moorish castle and aqueduct and a late Gothic cathedral.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.