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 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.
- Ovibeja. Agriculture, livestock, handicraft and tourism fair/expo.
- [dead link] Ruralbeja. Santa Maria's Fairground.
- Casa das Artes - Jorge Vieira Museum, R. do Touro 33, ☏ . Jorge Vieira's sculptures in a permanent collection.
- Botanic Museum.
- [dead link] Queen D.Leonor Regional Museum. A very surprising collection of ancient art, among other things.
- 1 Beja Castle.
- [dead link] Roman Villa of Pisões.
- Beja Municipal Library - José Saramago, ✉ email@example.com.
- [dead link] Casa da Cultura - Culture house.
- Teatro Municipal Theatre - Pax Julia, ☏ .
- Escudeiros Gallery.
- Beja Pillory
- Convent of Our Lady of Conceição.
- Santo Amaro Church.
- Santo André Chapel
- Mercy Church
- Holly Mary of Fair Church
- Bullfight Square
- [dead link] Vila Galé Clube de Campo, Herdade da Figueirinha, Santa Vitória 7801-732 BEJA, ☏ .
- Clube de Campo Hotel, 25 km 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.
- Pousada de Santa Clara-a-Velha - Santa Clara, Nature Hotel, Barragem de Santa Clara 7665-879 Santa Clara-a-Velha, ☏ , , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Its peacefulness is ideal for shooting, fishing, water sports or even for a rest in perfect harmony with nature. This nature hotel is very close to the Natural Park and Costa Vicentina, where the beaches are very appreciated and known.
- Pousada de Alvito - Castelo de Alvito , Historic Luxury Hotel, Castelo de Alvito, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Alvito is a village near the city of Beja (about 30 km of distance). It was the home of a royal pousada. The restoration of an unusual 15th century castle in Alvito created the Pousada Castelo do Alvito.
- Pousada de Beja - São Francisco , Historic Luxury Hotel, Castelo de Alvito, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the 13th-century Franciscan Convent the historical centre of Beja is a luxury hotel.
Avoid hot sun in summer.
Monotony of the plains.
Milfontes, Serpa, Mertola.