Programme day trip Tomar Knights Templars from Lisbon
Tomar - A region occupied by men since a long time, with the Nabão beautiful valley remains that recede to the Palaeolithic period. In place of the current take has already existed the Roman cities of "Nabantia" and "Sellium". Conquered from the Moors in 1147 by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques, was then donated to the Templars in 1159. Tomar is a fascinating Portuguese town, which must be included in your tour of central Portugal. Today, Tomar maybe a charming and quaint, but during the 13th century it was one of the most influential cities on the Iberian Peninsula, being the religious home of the Knights Templar. This secretive and powerful religious order was based in the Convento de Cristo, and this expansive religious complex is regarded as one of Portugal’s finest national monuments.
VISIT CONVENT OF CHRIST TOMAR
The Convent of Christ in Tomar, belongs to the Knights Templar. Founded in 1162 by the Grand Master of the Templars, Dom Gualdim Pais, Built over the span of five centuries, the Convent of Christ is a testimony to an architecture combining Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque elements. The Convent’s centrepiece is its 12th century rotunda, Oratory of the Templars, influenced by Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre Rotunda. It was built by the first great master of the Templars, Gualdim Pais, and was based on a polygonal ground plan of 16 bays including an octagonal choir with ambulatory: this is one of the typical "rotondas" of Templar architecture of which few examples are still extant in Europe. In 1356, the Convent became the home of the Order of Christ in Portugal and the rotunda’s decoration reflects the Order’s wealth, which made this building its headquarters. Heritage, UNESCO. Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquest, the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar (transferred in 1344 to the Knights of the Order of Christ) came to symbolize just the opposite during the Manueline period – the opening up of Portugal to other civilizations.
VISIT TOMAR CASTLE
The construction of Tomar Castle began in 1160, by the hand of the Templars, part of a line of defense against Muslim advances. Tomar is born from the donation by King Afonso Henriques in 1159 of the Ceras Castle to the Knights Templar. The territory was crossed in the south by the Tomar river - with its fertile valley to the west with very step foothills. It was in one of those foothills that Master D. Gualdim Pais, founded, in 1160, the Tomar castle and village. The castle was built on a belt of walls surrounding the edifice. Within it, two curtains of walls divided the area into three different spaces. In the southern part of the fortress one could find the villa space - today is where the orange grove sits. On the highest part of the foothill, to the north, the Templar military house was set, flanked to the west by the Master´s house - the Alcáçova with its tower and to the east the knights´oratorium - the Charola. These two spaces were separated by the vast yard of the castle - today a gardened space.
VISIT ALMOUROL CASTLE
In the middle of the River Tagus, the enigmatic Almourol Castle is one of the most emblematic monuments of the Christian reconquest. Almourol is one of the most distinctive castles in Portugal, because of its historical significance and surrounding landscape. The Templars constructed a military fortress on a small island on the Tejo River. Their residence in Tomar, like any capital, needed a defense or, at least, an early warning of impending danger. The castle of Almourol is one of the more emblematic and cenographic medieval military monuments of the Reconquista, and one of the best representations of the influence of the Knights Templar in Portugal. When it was conquered in 1129 by forces loyal to the Portuguese nobility, it was known as Almorolan, and placed in the trust of Gualdim Pais, the master of the Knights Templar in Portugal, who subsequently rebuilt the structure. The structure was reconstructed, starting in 1171 (from an inscription over the principal gate) and restored during the subsequent reigns. If you are passionate about Castles we recommend the Visit to the Village of Óbidos and its Castle that are part of our tour to Fátima Batalha Nazaré and Óbidos from Lisbon
This order is responsible for the reconstruction of the castle, giving it the characteristics of the Templar fortifications. The existing inscription over the main gate, points to its completion in 1171. With the extinction of the Knights Templar in 1311, D. Dinis gave the castle to the Order of Christ.
Pickups in areas like: Alfama, Bairro Alto and Baixa de Lisboa, or with difficulty of access of the car we will mark a meeting point for the Pickup
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