"Cidade Templaria" Top 5 Page for this destination Tomar by antistar
Tomar Travel Guide: 117 reviews and 349 photos
The small town of Tomar has a long and famous history, but it is with the Knights Templar that it has become so entwined. There are Roman settlements underneath the town, but the Templars are everywhere. They are in the convent and castle which dominates the city. They are in the Templar crosses that abound on buildings, pavements and tiled mosaics. They are in the fondness in which the locals speak of them, and how they believe the demise of the Templars caused the demise of Portugal and Tomar too.
After the French wiped out the order in France the convent in Tomar became the headquarters of the Knights Templar, turning an already important town into a political and economical capital of a region. When the Spanish expelled the Jews the town gained again, as a large and wealthy community settled there. Some of the most important men of Spain and Portugal lived in the town at some point, but from its dizzying heights the town sank down into rural obscurity by the 20th century. And today it is a sleepy town which few people visit, except on coach trips to the convent.
Today Tomar is a quiet and relaxed provincial town. Outside of the convent it really has very little to offer, unless you want some place quiet and relaxing like I did. The streets are pleasant to walk around, but the sights of interest are pretty limited. When everyone you meet asks if you have been to the matchbox museum, because after the convent it's the town's biggest draw, you know that you'll be doing little more than pottering about after your trip to the top. My guide book told me that Tomar was good for two days of slow touring. Well I toured the town very slowly for the day I was there, and ran out of things to do by 6pm, which happened to be about 30 minutes after I left the convent.
It's a lovely little town, and the convent is unmissable if you are in the region, but I wouldn't book more than a night.
Tomar is at the end of the line, which means you are likely to have to change trains to get in or out of the town,... more travel advice
Opposite the Igreja de Sao Joao Baptista across the checkerboard Prace da Republica is the Camara Municipal (Town Hall).... more travel advice
Written Jul 27, 2005
Templar Castle and Convent
Written Jul 27, 2005
Templar Castle and Convent +
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