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Portugal Travel Blog

Tomar, city of the order Knights Templar

Tomar, city of the order Knights Templar

August 24, 2015

In Tomar, former headquarter of the Knights Templar, remains the well-conserved Convent of Christ, jewel of Portuguese History.

Tomar has been the headquarters of the Portugal’s Knights Templar and then the stronghold of the Order of Christ. The convent of Christ is one of Portugal’s most important historical and artistic monuments and has been in the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1983. Come to visit this mystic city…

Tomar, an incredible city

Tomar is one of Portugal’s historical treasure. The medieval city was especially important in the 15th century, during the Portuguese overseas expansions, highly encouraged by Henry the Navigator, the grand Master of the Order of Christ, successor organisation of the Knights Templar. 

The Tabuleiros Festival has been celebrated for centuries in Tomar

Take a nice walk through the lovely city centre. Every 4 years take place the Tabuleiros Festival, a religious festivity of 10-days long. The main event is the parade with girls, nicely dressed with colourful traditional costumes, walking through the streets and carrying on their head the traditional Tabuleiros, 30 stacked pieces of bread decorated with flowers.

Convent of the Order of Christ, a fabulous monument

The castle of Knights Templar has been built around 1160, as the oldest part of the inner Convent. The Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order, established the castle as a stronghold to protect the Christian population from the Mores invasion. The convent combines Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architectural styles. 

The Round Church (Rotunda), built in the 12th century, is a gorgeous roman edifice. From the inside, the church is a 16-side polygonal structure, with strong buttresses, round windows and a bell tower. King Manuel 1, master of the order in the 16th century added a new Manueline nave to the round church and its inner decoration with painting and sculpture. There are also eight charming cloisters. 

Oldest part of the Convent, the Rotunda shall not be missed..

In 2013, the Guardian elected The Convento de Cristo as the most spectacular place to visit in Portugal, "...Founded by the Knights Templar, it's a beautiful, mysterious and magical place, wonderful to discover and enjoy."

Built between the 16th and 17th centuries, the Aqueduct was commissioned by Philip II of Spain in order to bring water to the convent and its land, and thus making it more self-sufficient. The magnificent structure is a 7 km-long stone pipework, and has frozen the landscape into a scenery of Portugal’s glorious History.

The Aqueduct has been very well-preserved and offers to visitors gorgeous sightseeing

In 2013, the Guardian elected The Convento de Cristo as the most spectacular place to visit in Portugal. The mysterious and magical convent and the lovely city can be discover during a day tour from Lisbon or during our 8 days private Religion and Tradition tour. Join a guided tour through the Route of the Templars and learn about its myths and secrets.