#151 Castelo de Beja
Beja, Baixo Alentejo, Portugal
Late 13th century + 1310
This is NOT an official Lego site

The present castle was built by King Denis [Diniz], who ruled Portugal and the Algarve from 1279 until his death in 1325. The castle was built at the dominate position in the strategic town of Beja, atop the remains of a Roman fort and a Moorish castle.  It is unknown if remnants of the Arab structure were incorporated into Denis' castle.  The donjon, called the Tower of Menagem, was begun in 1310, and is the tallest in Portugal at 131 feet [40 M]. The square in front of the castle is named for the 91 year old knight, Gonšalo Mendes da Maia (aka "o Lidador") who died defending Beja in 1169.
Beja became a regional capitol called Pax-Julia in the Roman Empire when Julius Caesar made peace in 48 BC with the local Lusitanians. In 409 Ad, however Iberia was overrun by the Suevi and later the Visigoths, upon the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the town was renamed Paca. Arab occupation began in 713 when an Omayyad army conquered the area.  Beginning in 910 there were successive attempts by the Christians to the north to reconquer southern Spain and Portugal.  The many invasions and reinvasions until the final conquest by King Sancho II in 1234 decimated the population, and Beja did not reach the status of a city until 1521 under King Manuel I.
The castle was enhanced and cannon bastions added in response to The Portuguese Restoration War (1640-1667) and the castle was overrun and more than 1200 people killed by Napoleon's army under General Junot in 1808. Despite part of the walls being dismantled for a Church of the now-defunct College of Jesuits, the castle was declared a national monument in 1910, and many repair projects have been carried out since then. On November 13, 2014, a portion of the tower's battlements fell into the courtyard - but the damage has already been repaired.
The outer courtyard with building foundations
The door to the inner castle
Ground Plan
Southeast Elevation North Elevation Northeast Cross-section

 

Photos of the Lego Model
under construction December 2015 - ???
Construction begins on Dec-
ember 21 with the castle laid
out using my new plan.
Keeping Mallow & Greenknowe up through
our New Years Eve party means pictures
only from the northwest [previous] and
southwest for the next couple of weeks.
December 22 is spent getting
started on the extensive landscaping
job ahead.
The donjon is on somewhat lower ground then
the castle's barbican and entrance gate.
By the end of day 2, there has
been real progress...
...particularly on the barbican and entrance
courtyard areas.
By the end of December 23. the
landscaping is done between
the NE Tower and the donjon...
 
...and the north end of the castle has
some low walls.
At the end of December 26, walls
surround the entire castle.
The dark gray hinges have arrived so work
on the round barbican towers can begin.
By January 7 the building table
had been cleared so 10 days
progress can be seen.
The barbican is built, as
are the twin towers that
guard the main entrance.
The courtyard building is
almost complete, and the
donjon base is rising!
On January 12 work has concent-
rated on the massive donjon...
...with its curved balcony
and complex windows.
The final construction picture
features the completed
courtyard building.

 

Photos of the Lego Model
Built December 2015 - January 2016

The castle is completed
on January 17
A nice view from the southwest A low crenellated wall
protects the base of
the huge donjon
The view of the castle from
the north
And from the northeast
The view from the east nicely
highlights the barbican and 5
of the castle's 6 towers
Here is a closer look at
the well thought out
barbican
And the view from atop the
131' donjon!
The iong stairway to the
wall walk
The oddly shaped
western tower
A closer view of the hall/
stable building from the front
And from the side The Torre de Menagem
(Tower of Homage) has
unusual merlons
And very ornate
windows, which were
fun to design

 

Build Your Own
The plan is too large for me to scan, but I was able to extract top down views
of the barbican, hall and donjon
Barbican Plan
Keep Top Down
Hall Top Down
Front Elevation
Southwest Elevation
Hall Elevations
SE Elevation
of Tower


Other Castelo de Beja pages:
http://www.monumentos.pt/Site/APP_PagesUser/SIPA.aspx?id=906
https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castelo_de_Beja
http://www.getportugal.com/en/poi-castelo-de-beja-13941
http://www.cm-beja.pt/viewturismo.do2?numero=1822

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Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by
Robert Carney