This provincial town boasts a long history going all the way back to Roman times, when Julius Caesar made the town of Beja the regional capital. The ruins from that era testify to the wealth and importance of the city. When the Moors took over in the 8th century, they had the streets paved with cobblestones, and some of their graceful buildings have survived as well. The castle of Beja is a vivid reminder of the city's conquest by the Portuguese kings. The pillory with a cross in the pedestrian area testifies to the gloomy period that followed.