Theme Week Alentejo – Beja

Thursday, 23 February 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Castelo de Beja © Concierge.2C/cc-by-sa-3.0

Castelo de Beja © Concierge.2C/cc-by-sa-3.0

Beja is a city and a municipality in the Alentejo region, Portugal. The population in 2011 was 35,854, in an area of 1,146.44 km² (442.64 sq mi). The city proper had a population of 21,658 in 2001. The municipality is the capital of the Beja District. The municipal holiday is Ascension Day. The Portuguese Air Force has an airbase in the area – the Air Base No. 11.

The Castle of Beja on top of the hill can be seen from afar and dominates the town. It was built, together with the town walls, under the reign of King Diniz in the 13th century over the remains of a Roman castellum that had been fortified by the Moors. It consists of battlement walls with four square corner towers and a central granite and marble keep (Torre de Menagem), with its height of 40 m the highest in Portugal. The top of the keep can be accessed via a spiral staircase with 197 steps, passing three stellar-vaulted rooms with Gothic windows. The merlons of the machicolation around the keep are topped with small pyramids. Standing on the battlements, one has a sensational panorama of the surrounding landscape. One can also glimpse the remains of the city walls that once had forty turrets and five gates. The castle now houses a small military museum. The square in front of the castle is named after Gonçalo Mendes da Maia or O Lidador, a brave knight killed in the battle against the Moors in 1170.

© Digitalsignal/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Felicity and Phillip/cc-by-2.0 Castelo de Beja © Concierge.2C/cc-by-sa-3.0 Nostra Senora de Conceiçao © Patrice78500/cc-by-sa-3.0 Praça da República © flickr.com - Vitor Oliveira/cc-by-sa-2.0 Beja Air Base during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 © flickr.com - Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Beja Air Base during Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 © flickr.com - Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum/cc-by-sa-2.0
The whitewashed Latin-Visigothic church of Santo Amaro, dedicated to Saint Amaro, standing next to the castle, is one of just four pre-Romanesque churches left in Portugal. Some parts date from the 6th century and the interior columns and capitals are carved with foliages and geometric designs from the 7th century. Especially the column with birds attacking a snake is of particular note. It houses today a small archaeological museum with Visigothic art.

This regional Museum of Queen Eleanor was set up in 1927 and 1928 in the former Convent of Our Lady of the Conception (Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição) of the Order of Poor Ladies (dissolved in 1834), gradually expanding its collection. This Franciscan convent had been established in 1459 by Infante Fernando, Duke of Viseu and duke of Beja, next to his ducal palace. The construction continued until 1509. The museum houses an important collection of Flemish, Spanish and Portuguese paintings from the 15th to the 18th centuries.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on VisitPortugal.com – Beja, Wikivoyage Beja and Wikipedia Beja. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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