Tomar – The Templar connection
What better place to start then Tomar?
Known as the Templar city since it was founded by D. Gualdim Pais – Grand Master Templar – who also was the responsible for building the Castle.
After the order disband – in 1307 – the Kind D. Dinis donated the Castle of Tomar and other lands, in 1357, to the Order of Christ.
Going back to the city it’s square is an architectonic beauty. From here you will be able to peek on the Monastery walls and the keep.
In front of the city hall you will see the statue of D. Gualdim Pais.
Also, a treat to the eye is the Portuguese sidewalk. It has checkered patterns and in other areas squares and compasses.
Still in the square you will see the S. João Baptista church – Worth a visit for sure
Other areas of interest around here are without a doubt:
Monastery and castle – To get in you will need a ticket but its really worth the money.
The Convento de Cristo started to be built in 1160 and though several centuries until full completion.
Due to the several functions it served and the long building time you will be able to identify several styles like Romanesque, Manueline, Renaissance, Gothic,and Mannerist.
Don’t forget to take a closer look to the “charola” – some say it’s a window to the world… and also to the iconic “Janela do Capítulo” an exlibris of the Manueline style
City Park – right in the hearth of Tomar you will see this great park that is bathed by the river Nabão.
It provides a lot of shade so a stroll will always feel great.
Ideal for all families from young to old. Also a nice spot for photography I would say 😉.
Church of Santa Maria do Olival
On the left side of the river you will be able to find this must-see monument in Tomar.
Initially built in Romanic style around 1160 also by D. Gualdim Pais. After a great remodeling in the XIII century it got mainly gothic traits. The remnants of the Romanic traits are mainly seen on the North entrance.
There is a lot of symbolism around here that requires a sharp eye.
I will just finish with a very interesting and different experience for your lunch or dinner – Taverna Antiqua. Been there a few times and its always a great experience. Food is great and the atmosphere is just awesome. If you want to get back on the medieval times just try this spot right in the main city square.
This is not the only place i recommend but rather the most uncommon one. I have eaten in other very good places in Tomar and you won’t have to sweat much to find a place that will give you good food for your money.