International Centre on Art and Science




We look forward hosting you at OBRAS. In your application you did define a project or goal for your residency and we sincerely hope that we can meet your expectations. We also hope that you will feel to be unplugged from ongoing business, family concerns, and consumerism. You may find paths that lead to unexpected fields, or may lead to nowhere but still make sense.

OBRAS has been in operation since 2003 and most of its activities take place on the Herdade da Marmeleira in Evoramonte, Portugal. Around 300 artists and some scientists from 38 countries have been in residence for periods up to two months. The centre is open the whole year round, generally except in July and November.

Apart from giving you space for working, OBRAS can also organise events in collaboration with you. Possibilities exist to create land art objects around the house and surroundings. Sometimes we organise an “open atelier”, concerts, exhibitions and cultural evenings in which you can participate.


If you fly to Lisbon you will take the express bus to Évora or Estremoz (see the section below) and we will pick you up from the bus station. Depending on your wishes we could stop on the way at a super market for a first shopping, or directly go to the Centre and your apartment.

The day after your arrival we arrange a meeting with you to show you the buildings and direct surroundings and to talk about your project and expectations. Also at the beginning of your residency we request you two telephone numbers of relatives who we can call in case of emergency.

How do I get there

From Lisbon airport take a taxi or the shuttle bus to the Bus Station “SETE RIOS”. The taxi is a 7-minutes drive and costs 6-13 € (+ a luggage rate). The 13 € fee is for taxis at the arrival hall. Better to take a taxi from the departure side as their fares are 6 € only. The Shuttle bus goes every half hour, takes 20-30 minutes and costs 3,50 €.

From SETE RIOS take the express bus to Évora or Estremoz (13€). To Évora busses go about twelve times per day (the last one at 10 pm.) The express bus to Estremoz goes less frequently, but is the best choice as it arrives nearer to our centre (the last one leaves at 7pm). From Évora (35km) or Estremoz (13km) we bring you for free to the Centre.

Arriving at Faro, Madrid or Seville is also possible and sometimes cheaper, but connections are time consuming and a bit complicated.


Although the general rule is that much of your time at OBRAS is yours to organize, we are always available for advice, support or feed back. If you would like we can make an appointment with you for a weekly meeting to discuss your plans, the progress in your work, desired contacts, the organisation of a show and so on.

In case of emergency, we are always available to help solve your problems. For issues with less urgency: try to collect them until a moment that is convenient for us, preferably 10-13am.

During your residency at OBRAS we request you to give an informal presentation to fellow artists at the center concerning your work.
Accommodation for living and working

OBRAS is located in a stone building of 200 years old; a typical Portuguese Monte. The main house has 8 apartments. Each has two beds, a working table with chairs, some fauteuils, a little kitchen with cooking utensils, a bathroom and a private terrace with garden furniture. Sheets, towels and blankets are available and will be changed once a week.

Besides the main house we have a cottage with some more space and a great view: Casa Miradouro, and a house with more rooms and an internal studio: Casa Vicente.

A swimming pool is at 100m from the house.

Smoking inside the buildings is not allowed. In summer, smokers should use caution to prevent fires related to smoking outside.

After 10 pm, please keep noise to a minimum in the main house and on the terraces and restrict noisy activities to the working studios. Residents are expected to clean their apartments themselves. We will provide cleaning tools and materials.

At the end of your stay we expect you to leave your apartment as clean as it was when you arrived (or pay us to do it).

The apartments have sufficient space for desk work, or you may prefer working outside.

If you need a large working space inside you may reserve one on your application form.
A big hall: 25 x 10 m, it is connected to a circular square with a diameter of 15 m.
A studio of 5 x 10 m, this is the coolest place in summer,
A studio of 6 x 10 m,
A studio of 5 x 6 m that is part of an apartment, named Casa Vicente that has in addition a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room of 5x5m, a sleeping room of 5x5m and two terraces (one in the sun and one in the shade).
Casa Miradouro, the cottage on 50 m from the main house has a living room with sufficient space (around 4x4m) for certain types of work.
A room of 5 x 5 m in the casa principal (an apartment that is made empty).
A music rehearsal room of around 5 x5 m with piano.

Working outside is possible nearly always, everywhere and for free. Apart from the surrounding nature there are also options near to the house:
a patio with trees inside (6x9 m),
a pergola with shadow tissue (3,5 x8 m),
an excavation site (5x5 m),
within 15 minutes walking are some intriguing abandoned buildings.

Please feel free to request our advice.

Artists materials

Most professional artist materials can be bought in Évora and some in Estremoz. If you want to be sure about quality and brand, bring materials with you or send them in advance by post.

The quality of the regional marble is highly valued by sculptors. You can collect it for free around the quarries. We have only basic tools and no electrical sculpting equipment. Working inside abandoned quarries is a great experience, but be aware that there will be no electricity and that generally you have to arrange your own transport.

Cork is a regional product with artistic potential as well. It is striped from the bark in summer and stored and manufactured in factories in the region.

We have a piano and flute of appropriate quality, and a guitar and some other instruments that are more suitable for social occasions.

Rural life and local transport

If you are used living in big cities you may experience both the advantages and the limitations of the country side. It is our experience that nearly all residents enjoy the advantages of rural life and can easily cope with the limitations.

Advantages are, for instance, that nature starts at your door step. You can take fantastic nature walks and make herbal tea from the plants of our garden. The nights are incredibly silent with a sky full of stardust and shooting stars.

But if you have no car, there are limitations as well: the nearest super market is 4 km away and busses to the nearby towns: Estremoz and Evora, stop only 3 times a day in front of our gate. An active urban life is at a distance of 13 km (Estremoz) or 35 km (Évora). From there many good connections exist to other towns in Portugal and Spain.

About once per two days we go to Estremoz or Évora for shopping. You can join us for free or give us your shopping list. Also when we go to concerts, exhibitions or other cultural events (at least once per week on average) you can join us for free.

You can request us to drive you to town, but in case we cannot combine it with our own activities we may charge a fee that is around 40% of the taxi fee.

Our bicycles are of limited use for local transport.

We tell you about options and costs before you decide what transport you prefer.

Of course, in case of emergency we are always and with no limitation ready for transport. Medical facilities are in Estremoz (First Aid, 24 hrs service) and Évora (University hospital).

Outside temperature

This part of the country has a continental climate with some oceanic influence. From April until June and in September and October the temperature is very mild (20-30 oC). In July and August the days can be hot (30-37oC), but the nights generally remain cool (15-20 oC). From December until March the day temperatures are between 15 and 22 oC and the nights between 2 and 15oC. November and occasionally April can be quite rainy, while December, January and February are often sunny and sometimes even warm.
Room temperature

The house has very thick stone walls (up to 1 m). Therefore it remains cool even on the hottest days of the year. On those days it is effective to keep the door closed in the hottest hours of the day and to open it in the coolest hours of the night. There is no air conditioning.

The room temperature is regarded to be pleasant by virtually all our guests. Nevertheless, if you cannot cope with the summer heat, better do not to choose for a residency in August. And if you need an apartment with a temperature that is constantly higher than 20oC, better choose a period between April and October.

From December to March you may need some room heating and you pay the heating costs yourself. Some apartments have gas or wood stoves and others have stone heaters that run on electricity.

We will share with you our experience on how to heat your room cost-effectively.

Your apartment has basic equipment such as cooking plate, microwave, pots and pans and so on, to prepare your own meals.

The tap water is of high quality, sterilized and has a good taste. You do not need to buy bottled water.

Some two times per week we organize a shared diner (where everybody brings something to eat and to drink) and if you want you can share this dinner and its coziness.

We prepare meals for residents (for which we change a modest fee) very infrequently.

Internet and phone

The house has an ADSL connection and a router for wireless working. If you have your own laptop, you can work on the internet in the public dining room or direct surroundings where the signal of the router is received. If you need a wired connection we can provide this in the dining room as well. Using the internet is free for normal use with your own laptop or other wireless device.

If you do not have your own laptop, be aware that you generally have to use one of the many internet facilities in Evora, Estremoz or Evoramonte. Most of them are free but only open during office hours. Our private PC is, of course, available in case of urgency.

For your cell phone check in your country which provider you need in Portugal. Alternatively, consider buying a mobile phone in Portugal or a Portuguese sim card (10 €). For relatively cheap phoning all over the world buy an ONI phone card in Portugal.

We have a landline in our private residence of the house that you can use for emergency reasons. For other calls we request you to use your own cell phone or to use Skype or a similar program on your computer. Alternatively, you can use public telephones in town.

Rates (2013)
The duration of your residency will be between 3 weeks and two months. The rate per week for renting an apartment is 105 €. For a couple this is 175 €. Couples must apply individually.
If you stay two weeks only, the rates are higher: 260 and 435 € for this two-weeks period, for an individual and a couple respectively.
In December-March heating may be needed (see above). You pay for what you use. This is generally not more than 3,50 € per day.
In August a holiday’s surplus is charged: 30 € per week for one person and 50 € for two.
If you need a working studio in addition to your apartment, 25 € per week will be charged for each week that you make use of it.
Non-artist guests accompanying residents are welcome but pay a higher rate. Ask the board for rates and availability.
We also have two beautiful cottages available: Case Vicente and Casa Miradouro (see above). Ask the board for renting rates and availability.
We have a laundry washing machine (7kg). You can make use of it for 3.50 € a time.
If at departure you prefer not to clean your apartment yourself, we can do this for you for 25 €.

We request you to send a deposit of 120 €. After your deposit is paid, your reservation is done. If your plans change, let us know in time. For us this makes the difference between endless waiting and simple logistical re-adjustments. You will get your deposit back if your cancellation is longer than 4 months in advance.

Your rent, after subtracting the deposit, must be paid in the first days of arrival.

OBRAS accepts direct payment and bank transfers, but no cheques. You will get an official invoice for all payments.

Foundation Obras is registered in The Netherlands:

Stichting OBRAS,

Nieuweweg 31, 6871 CA Renkum, The Netherlands

The bank account info of Stichting OBRAS is: IBAN: NL23INGB0009353219

(for Dutch artists the number is just: 9353219).

The BIC (= Swift Code) is: INGBNL2A
Address: ING N.V., Postbus 1800,

000 BV Amsterdam The Netherlands


You must have an international medical insurance and a third party insurance. The Centre does not accept legal responsibility.

For the daily board of OBRAS

Ludger van der Eerden Carolien van der Laan