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Beja (bāˈzhə) [key], town (1991 pop. 20,005), S Portugal, capital of Beja dist. and Baixo Alentejo. It is an important regional trade center with copper, silver, lead, and zinc mining nearby. Beja was important under the Romans, who called it Pax Julia. The Moors used it as a fortress city, until the Portuguese recovered it in 1162. Notable landmarks are the 14th-century citadel and the 15th-century Convent of the Conception, now a regional museum.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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