Photographs by David S. Rose
Written by Marilee F. Rose
continued from "Lap of Luxury"
this is the town that we bought our first copper cataplana. Those of you who have eaten a meal prepared in a cataplana know that it is a treat. Since our return to the US we have purchased another cataplana and use each extensively. Beja also has wonderful children’s shops for clothing, which I enjoyed. Before we arrived in Beja we had heard the story of a nun that fell in love with a French soldier during the 17th century. This nun wrote many love letters to this soldier and it was made into a book. The original book has never been found, but this book, “Five Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun”, has been translated into English and in Portuguese. The original, is said to have been written in French. While we were in Beja we visited Museu Regional Rainha Donna Leonor, Torre de Menagem, and the Museu Visigotico. The Museu Regional Rainha Donna Leonor is spectacular. This was one of the best museums that I’ve been to in Portugal. When we entered the museum to purchase our tickets I had my back to the church, but when I turned around, seriously, it took my breath away. It was so ornate, with so much gold leaf that I had trouble speaking, the place glowed. The azulejos tiles were beautiful and many of the walls were covered with the tiles, hand painted and many with Moorish designs. Next we walked to the castle (Torre de Menagem), this tower has been restored and when you climb the tower you can see across Beja. There is also a tourist shop inside the castle walls. Before we walked back to the pousada we went to the Museu Visigotico. The Visigoths were important to Portugal. The museum is housed in the oldest church in all of Portugal, 7th century. The museum holds beautiful Visigothic art. Now I’ll tell you about the Pousada de Sao Francisco. This pousada is right in the middle of town and within walking distance to museums, restaurants, and shops. Once we parked the car at the pousada we never touched it again until we were leaving. Like most of the pousadas in Portugal this one was also well maintained and clean. The rooms were big and we were shown a room overlooking the swimming pool and gardens. The restaurant was very good and the prices were on par for all the other pousadas. I think that the pictures speak for themselves.