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Beja

 

With a history that dates back to Roman times, the stories that the city has to tell are both colorful and entrancing. Under Julius Caesar, Beja became a regional capitol in his vast and glorious empire. From the cobbled streets and Moorish architecture to the Castle that overlooks the city’s prolific farmlands, the story of Beja that reveals itself is one of endurance, refinement, and strength. The city has survived and thrived when other cities have become the stuff of legends and lost civilizations.

The highlight of visiting Beja is touring the historically unique structures and points of interest and experiencing a sense of time reversing itself in a region that has not forgotten its past. The most prominent historical structure in Beja is a building known simply as The Castle. Standing over Roman Fortifications, the castle was built in 1310 and remodeled in the 16th century. The imposing Torre de Menagem, with its battlements and tower have become the symbol of the city of Beja. A tour of the majestic castle is not complete without traipsing up the swirling spiral staircase to survey the unequaled view of the ancient city from the uppermost floor of the tower.

Not quite as old as the Castle, the Church of Santo Amaro dates back to the 5th century. At the time it was built, the Viscoths were still settling in the region and because it is a quintessential example of Paleo-Christian architecture in Portugal, it is home to the Beja Regional Museums Viscoth exhibit.

A little way down the road from Beja is Pzoes. Here lies the ruins of a magnificent Roman villa. Dating back to somewhere between the 1st and 4th century, this well preserved landmark is a marvel to behold. Visitors may admire where the grand halls once stood and wonder at the genius that created the ancient bathhouses complete with an elaborate system for heating the water of its many pools.

Once you have spent the day touring through the many architectural and historic relics that can be found in Beja, it is time to remind yourself that the past isn’t the only appealing aspect of life in this city. With its comfortable pubs and eclectic bars, you are sure to find a relaxing place to sit back and wind down after a day of hiking through the quaint cobblestone streets of Beja. As you enjoy the wide array of live music and excellent cuisine, you can be sure of one thing. Beja is a place that is unwaveringly proud of its past but also knows enough to celebrate its future.

 

 


 

 

Portugal: travel around and find out the essence of the Land!