Beja is a city in Portugal with a population of 36,000 people (2011). It stands on the summit of a high hill surrounded by beautiful and fertile valleys under cultivation, as the district is rich in agricultural products, mainly cereals, olive oil, and wine.
The municipality of Beja (BEH-zhuh or BAY-zhuh, /ˈbɛ.ʒɐ/ or /ˈbɐj.ʒɐ/) is composed of 18 parishes and is the capital of the District of Beja.
The city is supposed to be the Roman Pax Julia, or Paca, and is still surrounded by remains of old Roman walls, which however, were partly restored during the Middle Ages. Beja was taken from the Moors in 1162 by Afonso Henriques.
Its castle, built by King Dom Diniz, is believed to be the best example of medieval architecture still extant in Portugal. It is a square, massive structure 36.5 m (120 feet) high, from the top of which the whole of the Alentejo country and the Cintra mountains may be seen. The walls of the castle are covered with hieroglyphics.
It was in its early days an episcopal city, but at the time of the invasion by the Moors, it lost its dignity. The Cathedral of Beja is an old temple, though so much modernized as to make it impossible to determine with any degree of certainty its original date.
Other famous churches are those of Our Lady of the Conception, St. Iago, or Santiago, and Santa Maria da Feira, said to have been an old Moorish mosque. The College of St. Sissenando, which belonged to the Jesuits, and was built principally at the expense of Donna Maria Sophia, in 1695, stands in the street where the saint was born. Part of this building is now occupied by the episcopal palace.
The city has modern improvements, schools, banks, libraries, etc. It is said to be the richest in Roman remains of all the cities in Portugal, except Évora, which now possesses a large collection of Roman antiquities collected in Beja.
North - IP2 from Evora.
South - IP2 from Ourique and Castro Verde or EN 122 from Mertola.
East - IP8 from Serpa.
West - IP8 from Ferreira do Alentejo.
Daily buses departs from major cities.
- 2 Convent of Our Lady of Conceição and Queen D.Leonor Regional Museum (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição e Museu Rainha Dona Leonor), ☏ . The city museum is housed in the former Convent of Beja. The convent was founded in 1495. The museum has a very surprising collection of ancient art, among other things.
- 3 Ovibeja. Agriculture, livestock, handicraft and tourism fair/expo.
- 4 Casa das Artes - Jorge Vieira Museum, R. do Touro 33, ☏ . Jorge Vieira's sculptures in a permanent collection.
- 5 Botanic Museum.
- 6 Villa Romana de Pisões (Roman Villa of Pisões), ☏ . Tu–Su 09:00–17:00, closed M.
- 7 Beja Municipal Library - José Saramago, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Casa da Cultura (Culture house).
- 9 Teatro Municipal Theatre - Pax Julia, ☏ .
- 10 Escudeiros Gallery.
- Beja Pillory
- 11 Santo Amaro Church.
- Santo André Chapel
- Mercy Church
- Holly Mary of Fair Church
- Bullfight Square
- 1 Restaurante Dom Dinis, Rua Dom Dinis 11, ☏ . Th–Su 12:00–15:00 & 19:30–22:00, Tu 12:00–15:00, closed W. €10-22.
- 2 Restaurante Íntimo, Rua dos Açores 12, ☏ . Th–Su 10:00–23:00, closed M. Mid-range.
- 3 Sabores do Monte, Monte da Juliana, Santa Vitória, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 09:00–22:30. Regional cooking, grilled meats and sausages. Mid-range.
- 1 Vila Galé Clube de Campo, Herdade da Figueirinha, Santa Vitória, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 25 km (16 mi) from Beja, has 78 bedrooms, 3 junior suites and gives you access to a range of entertainment activities, mini-golf, hiking, four-wheel motorcycle or bicycle riding, water sports (paddle boating and sailing), duck shooting, and Portuguese bull-tackling bravado in the riding stable or arena. Booking online.
- 2 Pousada Convento Beja, Largo D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. In the 13th-century Franciscan Convent the historical centre of Beja is a luxury hotel.
- 3 Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Albernoa, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Five-star, 6-unit country-house hotel with two swimming pools, sauna, bar, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. €274-826.
Avoid hot sun in summer.
Monotony of the plains.