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Beja - Portugal B'side

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District: Beja

Trivia: The bull of the city’s coat of arms represents the legend of the serpent that lived on the surroundings of Beja city and died from eating a poisoned bull dumped in the forest by the inhabitants of Beja.

Some points of interest: Beja Castle, Beja Regional Museum, Beja Cathedral, Roman Ruins of Pisões

Some activities: Walking tours, Jeep Tour, Wine Tasting, Bird watching

Typical: Carne de porco à Alentejana, Açorda à Alentejana, Pasteis de toucinho, Queijadas de requeijão, Viola campaniça, Alentejo’s tin work, Cante Alentejano

Beja city arises on a hill with 277m (172 miles) above sea level, dominating the vast surrounding plain. A municipality in which the field and the city engage themselves, with a generally warm, dry climate influenced by the Mediterranean and North Africa, offering the perfect atmosphere for those who desire a relaxing holiday.

With its origins somewhere in the Iron Age, the date of its foundation is uncertain, and recent archaeological excavations have discovered traces of occupation prior to the Roman conquest. During the Roman period, the city of Pax Julia, Beja ancient name for having been the site where the peace treaty was signed with the Lusitanian tribes that occupied the territory, is elevated by the Emperor Julius Caesar to legal and administrative capital of the region. Traces like Pisões ruins or Beja castle demonstrate the strong Roman occupation of this region, witnessing the wealth of this empire. The castle, in excellent conditions, keeps alive the memory of the countless battles to conquer this part of the country. During the Arabic invasion in the 8th century, cobbled streets are constructed and it is from this moment on that the configuration of the city undergoes the most profound changes: its orthogonal form keeps changing and gaining a radial form.

A walk through the narrow and characteristics streets of the old part of Beja city lets you enjoy the extensive history of this city, which uncovers through the whitewashed houses with colorful frames around the windows and the many museums that exhibit relics from various colonizers of the region. In the city center, the traditional architecture goes hand in hand with the contemporary buildings where can be enjoyed many monuments of great architectural and heritage value. Outside of town seize the opportunity to do a relaxing ride that leads you to discover a flat geography with little forest density, typical of the Alentejo region, traveling through vast wheat fields golden by the sun and olive groves where you can stroll for kilometers surrounded of the most pure natural beauty.

Recommended time:

2 to 3 days

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