Beja

Beja

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Located on a mount with 277 meters high, Beja dominates the vast surrounding plain grounds.

The town once known as Pax Julia was probably founded either by the Roman Emperors Julio Cesar or Augusto. It was capital of the Conventus Pacensis and juridical administrated one of the regions that constituted the Lusitânia province (the other two capitals were Santarém and Mérida). It was also a Civitas (a town responsible by the administration of a region) and Colonia.
Undoubtedly, Beja was an elementary town for the functioning of the great administrative machine that was the roman regionalization.

The legend says that when Beja was just a small locality with small cabanas surrounded by woods, a murderer snake was by then one of the biggest population apprehensions. The solution was to poison a bull and throw it to the woods where the snake inhabited. That is why a bull is represented in the Town’s coat of arms.

Beja presents a very interesting Heritage, with important monuments such as the Nossa Senhora do Pé da Cruz Church, the Santa Maria da Feira Church, the Castle and the Pillory, the Culture House, the Jorge Vieira Museum, the Visigothic Nucleus, the Botanical Museum, the Escudeiros Gallery and the pleasant Town’s Park.
The Rainha Dona Leonor Museum was created in 1927 in the ancient Nossa Senhora da Conceição Convent, of the Clarisse’s Order. The building (a Franciscan convent) was established in 1459 by Fernando de Portugal, Viseu and Beja Duke next to his palace. The museum’s collection is divided into three distinct areas: archaeology, jewellery and painting.

Among the biggest events in Beja is the Ovibeja, a big Fair of agricultural, cattle breeding, handicraft and tourist activities, that assembles a large number of visitors every year.

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