The opening works of the square, started in 1511, were carried out in the context of major improvements promoted during the reign of Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521), when the settlement was elevated to the category of city.
It is the center of the entire historic Elvense center. It houses the Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção (former See), palatial houses with several centuries of existence. When the city was elevated in the reign of King Manuel I, many works were carried out, making the city the seat of a bishopric and to be considered the fourth largest city in the country at the end of the century. XVI. One of the works carried out was the opening of Praça Nova after the construction of the Cathedral. From then on, Praça Nova gains importance and becomes the center of life in the city. In 1886, it was renamed Praça do Príncipe D. Carlos and in 1910 it was renamed Praça da Republica and is now a must-see for tourists.
The site, extensively fortified from the 17th to 19th centuries, represents the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Within its walls, the town contains barracks and other military buildings as well as churches and monasteries. While Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century ad, its fortification began when Portugal regained independence in 1640. The fortifications designed by Dutch Jesuit padre Cosmander represent the best surviving example of the Dutch school of fortifications anywhere. The site also contains the Amoreira aqueduct, built to enable the stronghold to withstand lengthy sieges.UNESCO