Béjar

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Béjar
Bejar.jpg
Coat of arms of Béjar
Coat of arms
Béjar is located in Castile and León
Béjar
Béjar
Location in Spain
Béjar is located in Spain
Béjar
Béjar
Béjar (Spain)
Coordinates: 40°23′N 5°46′W / 40.383°N 5.767°W / 40.383; -5.767Coordinates: 40°23′N 5°46′W / 40.383°N 5.767°W / 40.383; -5.767
Country Spain
Autonomous community Castile and León
ProvinceSalamanca
ComarcaSierra de Béjar
Judicial districtBéjar
Founded400 BC
Government
 • AlcaldeAlejo Riñones Rico (2011) (PP)
Area
 • Total46 km2 (18 sq mi)
Elevation959 m (3,146 ft)
Population
 (2018)[2]
 • Total12,961
 • Density280/km2 (730/sq mi)
Demonym(s)bejarano
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
37700
Dialing code923
Websitewww.aytobejar.com

Béjar (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbexaɾ]) is a town and municipality in the province of Salamanca, western Spain, part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It had a population of 15,016 as of 2017.

Plaza Mayor

History[edit]

The first inhabitants of what is now Béjar were the Vettones who settled an area to the south of the city now known as La Antigua around 400 BC; the city formed part of Roman Hispania in the beginning of the 1st century BC. In AD 713, the city was taken by Muslim Berbers (Moors) from the Visigoths and in the 11th century it was conquered by King Alfonso VI of Castile. Following this, the walls, part of which still stands, are constructed to repel frequent Arab incursions that took place until the definitive conquest.

The city was later the center of the Duchy of Béjar ruled by the powerful House of Zúñiga.

Name[edit]

The name Béjar is of pre-Roman origin; the original form was Bigerra[3] and is said to mean "place of the beehives." Béjar could be an adaption from the Spanish word abeja, which means "bee." An older spelling of the city's name is Béxar. In medieval documents, Vexar is found also.

Bexar County in the U.S. state of Texas acquired its name indirectly from this city.


Monuments[edit]

Béjar has many remarkable monuments and historical buildings [4]:

  • City walls: well-preserved medieval fort
  • Church of Saint James (Santiago): built in XII century, now serves as a Museum of Religious Art
  • Church of Saint Mary the Great (Santa María la Mayor): Built between XII and XVII centuries, in several different architect styles (from mudejar to baroque)
  • Jewish Museum David Melul: shows Béjar's Hebrew past
  • Ducal Palace and Camera Obscura: Ancient fortress transformed into a Palace for the Duke and Duchess of Béjar in XVI century.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Municipio:Béjar". www.lasalina.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  2. ^ "Municipal Register of Spain 2018". National Statistics Institute. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. ^ Edward Gibbon. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Volume 5. Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, 1873. p. 258.
  4. ^ "Conoce B̩jar РExcmo. Ayuntamiento de B̩jar" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-01-22.

External links[edit]