Cities

48 hours in Tomar

Edition 66 — 07.11.2022 • 20.11.2022
Tomar

Portugal has a whole city that has risen according to an esoteric plan. It is the city of Tomar, designed by Gualdim Pais, the most famous master of the Order of the Temple. Founded in 1160, Tomar was conceived according to the archetype of an initiating mentality, as the Polis, the Acropolis and the Pantheon. A city as enchanting as the secrets it keeps.

The Knights Templar and the Convent of Christ

Tomar is the most important place of the Templar History in the whole world, since it has preserved an imposing castle and church, practically intact. The Order of the Temple existed from 1118 to 1308, when the Pope extinguished it and deprived it of its assets.

The Portuguese King D. Dinis ruled in those times and obeyed to the Pope command, however he kept the assets for the Crown and founded the Order of Christ. And so, the Knights of the Temple remained in Portugal. A century after, in 1415 with the conquest of Ceuta, Henry, The Navigator became the Grand-Master of the Order of Christ and lived for over a decade in Tomar. It was actually here that he designed the project of the Portuguese Discoveries.

In the words of Lisbon-born philosopher and historian Paulo Loução, Tomar was actually the spiritual capital of the country.

The UNESCO World Heritage Convent of Christ is absolutely mandatory while visiting Tomar, the Templar city. Both the Templar Castle and the Convent of Christ stand out as some of the most stunning monumental landmarks in the country, impeccably preserved. The military structure of the Castle that Master Gualdim Pais imported from the East is particularly striking.

Beyond the Convent of Christ

In Tomar, apart from the Convent of Christ, there are other testimonies of the influence of the Knights Templar, such as the woods Mata dos Sete Montes, where initiating rituals took place, and the Church of Santa Maria do Olival – the ancient Roman Sellium, donated by the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques to Master Gualdim Pais, as he returned from the Crusades.

Tomar downtown was planned according to the vision of Henry, The Navigator and it also inspired other Portuguese cities, such as Angra do Heroísmo and Lisbon. At the center of this beautiful square there is the statue of Grand Master Gualdim Pais, placed between the City Hall and the eye-catching Church of Saint John, the Baptist, deeply fascinating for its multitude of symbols.

In the street Rua Joaquim Jacinto, the former Rua Nova, parallel to Corredoura street, there is the Jewish synagogue dating back to the mid-15th century, the oldest synagogue in Portugal.

During its consulate as Grand-Master of the Order of Christ, Henry, The Navigator called the Jewish community to populate the city and to foster local economy. The Jewish quarter and the synagogue were built from 1430 to 1460. The Jewish synagogue of Tomar was transformed along the centuries in jail, chapel and private house. In 1921 it became National Monument and in 1923, Samuel Schwarz, a Polish mine engineer who studied the secret Jewish community of Belmonte, bought the building. In 1939, he donated it to the Portuguese state, so that a Portuguese-Hebrew Museum would be created.

Café Paraíso is also a must-see stop of the city. Located in Corredoura Street, this historic café, founded on May 21st 1911, offers its visitors a welcoming nostalgic ambiance and an attentive service. The unrivalled charm of the past at the heart of the historical centre of Tomar. This is also the place where world-acclaimed Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco sat to write. Locals say that Café Paraíso (Paradise) is a paradise in the morning, a purgatory in the afternoon and hell at night!

Around Tomar

The Castle of Almourol is regarded as Portugal’s most beautiful castle! Situated on a small cliffy island in the middle of the Tagus River, Almourol Castle is one of the most significant military Medieval monuments, which best evokes the memory of the Knights Templar in Portugal.

Beautifully embraced by the Zêzere River, Dornes is a picturesque village where time stands still. An enchanting place to discover off the beaten track, located in the north zone of Castelo de Bode dam, half an hour away from Tomar.

Situated on the left bank of Tagus River, the Natural Reserve of Paul do Boquilobo follows a section of Almonda river born in the Mountain of Serra de Aire e Candeeiros that flows to the right bank of Tagus.

Share this page
Start typing for results
Edition 68
05.12.2022 • 18.12.2022
Edition 67
21.11.2022 • 04.12.2022
Edition 66
07.11.2022 • 20.11.2022
Edition 65
24.10.2022 • 06.11.2022
Edition 64
10.10.2022 • 23.10.2022
Edition 63
29.08.2022 • 11.09.2022
Edition 62
15.08.2022 • 28.08.2022
Edition 61
01.08.2022 • 14.08.2022
Edition 60
18.07.2022 • 31.07.2022
Edition 59
04.07.2022 • 17.07.2022
Edition 58
20.06.2022 • 03.07.2022
Edition 57
06.06.2022 • 19.06.2022
Edition 56
23.05.2022 • 05.06.2022
Edition 55
09.05.2022 • 22.05.2022
Edition 54
25.04.2022 • 08.05.2022
Edition 53
11.04.2022 • 24.04.2022
Edition 52
28.03.2022 • 10.04.2022
Edition 51
21.03.2022 • 27.03.2022
Edition 50
07.03.2022 • 13.03.2022
Edition 49
28.02.2022 • 06.03.2022
Edition 48
21.02.2022 • 27.02.2022
Edition 47
14.02.2022 • 20.02.2022
Edition 46
07.02.2022 • 13.02.2022
Edition 45
31.01.2022 • 06.02.2022
Edition 44
24.01.2022 • 30.01.2022
Edition 43
17.01.2022 • 23.01.2022
Edition 42
10.01.2022 • 16.01.2022
Edition 41
27.12.2021 • 02.01.2022
Edition 40
20.12.2021 • 26.12.2021
Edition 39
13.12.2021 • 19.12.2021
Edition 38
06.12.2021 • 12.12.2021
Edition 37
29.11.2021 • 05.12.2021
Edition 36
15.11.2021 • 21.11.2021
Edition 35
08.11.2021 • 14.11.2021
Edition 34
25.10.2021 • 31.10.2021
Edition 33
18.10.2021 • 24.10.2021
Edition 32
11.10.2021 • 17.10.2021
Edition 31
04.10.2021 • 10.10.2021
Edition 30
27.09.2021 • 03.10.2021
Edition 29
20.09.2021 • 26.09.2021
Edition 28
13.09.2021 • 19.09.2021
Edition 27
30.08.2021 • 05.09.2021
Edition 26
23.08.2021 • 29.08.2021
Edition 25
16.08.2021 • 22.08.2021
Edition 24
09.08.2021 • 15.08.2021
Edition 23
02.08.2021 • 08.08.2021
Edition 22
26.07.2021 • 01.08.2021
Edition 21
19.07.2021 • 25.07.2021
Edition 20
12.07.2021 • 18.07.2021
Edition 19
05.07.2021 • 11.07.2021
Edition 18
28.06.2021 • 04.07.2021
Edition 17
21.06.2021 • 27.06.2021
Edition 16
14.06.2021 • 20.06.2021
Edition 15
07.06.2021 • 13.06.2021
Edition 14
31.05.2021 • 06.06.2021
Edition 13
24.05.2021 • 30.05.2021
Edition 12
17.05.2021 • 23.05.2021
Edition 11
10.05.2021 • 16.05.2021
Edition 10
03.05.2021 • 09.05.2021
Edition 9
26.04.2021 • 02.05.2021
Edition 8
19.04.2021 • 25.04.2021
Edition 7
12.04.2021 • 18.04.2021
Edition 6
05.04.2021 • 11.04.2021
Edition 5
29.03.2021 • 04.04.2021
Edition 4
22.03.2021 • 28.03.2021
Edition 3
15.03.2021 • 21.03.2021
Edition 2
08.03.2021 • 14.03.2021
Edition 1
01.03.2021 • 07.03.2021