Renaissance building structures detected in Beja

16/10/2021 - Renaissance building structures detected in Beja

As part of the Urban Rehabilitation project in the Historic Centre of the city of Beja, several archaeological remains were detected at the top of Rua Abel Viana. The archaeological work (surveys) enabled several landfill deposits to be identified, and it was possible to expose the elevations of the structures identified in the monitoring of the work.

The excavated deposits revealed the existence of archaeological materials with a wide chronological range, from the Roman to the contemporary period. The structures identified bear witness to a building of considerable size that once stood on this site, corresponding to a possible continuation of the urban line of Praça da República, having possibly been demolished at the end of the 19th century.

The foundations of the church's loggia have been identified next to Igreja da Misericórdia. These were built in the 16th century, around 1530, when Infante D. Luís, Duke of Beja, ordered the construction of a butcher's shop at the top of one of Beja's main squares, in what is now Praça da República.

The building follows the typology of the Italian loggia, deeply influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The final product of the building had a sumptuousness that was unrivalled in the panorama of national architecture, and King Luís himself classified the building as unsuitable for its initial functions, later offering it to the confraternity of Santa Casa da Misericórdia for the installation of its church, which was adapted to this function.

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