Beja, City of

   District and city in former Alentejo province, with a population of about 20,000. Its Roman name was "Pax Julia," and it is located about 136 kilometers (85 miles) southwest of Lisbon, in a wheat-growing section of the country. Beja is in the heart of the latifúndio region, the large landed estates of the south that in part were expropriated or nationalized by farm workers during the Revolution of 25 April 1974 and in the subsequent agrarian reform movements. Beja's industries feature olive oil, pottery, textiles, and leather. Since the 1970s, it has been the capital of the district. On New Year's Day 1962, Beja was the scene of an attempted revolutionary action of oppositionist Humberto Delgado's followers, at the Infantry Regiment No. 3's barracks in Beja, an effort that collapsed and resulted in the arrest of Delgado's followers and the death by a stray bullet of the under secretary of state of the army, Lt. Col. Jaime Fonseca. Traditionally, Beja is an area with a relatively strong vote for the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP).

Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. . 2014.

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