Beja is a city and a municipality in Portugal with a total area of 1,147.1 km² and a total population of 34,970 inhabitants in the municipality. The city proper has a population of 21,658. 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. 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. 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 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 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/to major cities.
- Ovibeja. Agriculture, livestock, handicraft and tourism fair/expo.
- Ruralbeja. Santa Maria’s Fairground
- Casa das Artes – Jorge Vieira Museum, R. do Touro 33, ☎+351 284 311 920. Jorge Vieira’s sculptor pieces permanent collection.
- Botanic Museum.
- Queen D.Leonor Regional Museum. A very surprising collection of Ancient Art, among other things.
- 1 Beja Castle.
- Roman Villa of Pisões.
- Beja Municipal Library – José Saramago, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Casa da Cultura – Culture house.
- Teatro Municipal Theatre – Pax Julia, ☎+351 284 315 090.
- 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