"Beja - Nice town and impressive tower" Top 5 Page for this destination Beja by gubbi1

Beja Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 211 photos

Beja is a town with medieval charm, but its beginning dates back much further into the 5th century BCE when the celtics founded the city. Already before the moors showed up several peoples have ruled the town, like the romans who built a city wall that still can be seen at ome places. With the moors Beja became a newly walled town and heavily fortified, which made the reoccupation so difficult, that it took more than 300 years until 1162 when it was shortly taken by Christian troups. In 1235 it was finally reoccupied by Paio Peres Correia under the order of the Portuguese king.

Coming to Beja I parked not far from the widely seen castle tower. Of course that also draw my attention and I decided to do this place at first, hoping to have a chance to climb the tower. The castle is very nice with high walls. It was rebuilt on roman foundations in 1310 under King Denis.
The fascinating medieval tower is called Torre de Menagem and the symbol of Beja. About 200 steps will bring you to its top 40 meters over the ground. The Torre de Menagem is the highest donjon on the Iberic Peninsulae! I guess you can imagine that the view from up there is superb and you will be able to get an orientation of town.

On your walk through the beautiful town center you will come along several nice churches and buildings covered with azulejos.

The Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres from the year 1672 for example has a very beautiful interior despite the rather simple outside. It is part of the Museu Episcopal de Beja and well worth to be visited (Largo dos Prazeres).

Probably one of the oldest churches of Beja is the Church of Santa Maria with its massive round pillars and arches. It used to be a temple of the Visigoths in the 6th century and later a mosque during the occupation of the Moors, but most of what is seen today dates from the 15th century reconstruction.

Another beautiful building that you will pass is the Convento de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, which nowadays houses the Museu Regional de Beja. I have not been inside, but looking its webpage I regret that I only had a look at its outside. The convent was built under the order of the first Dukes of Beja. In the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century parts of the convent were destroyed. Only the church, the cloister and the chapter house remained. The museum presents sacral art, azulejos and archeological things.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very nice town and impressive tower!
  • Last visit to Beja: May 2009
  • Intro Updated May 5, 2012
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