"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.

  • Last visit to Tomar: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Jul 26, 2005
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Reviews (16)

Comments (6)

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2008 at 4:43 AM

    Really enjoyed this page. Seems like a lovely place and so safe....

  • monina_c's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2006 at 5:40 PM

    you are so right when you said that da vinci code will reawaken interest in the templars. thank you for sharing such comprehensive info about the town of tomar. your tomar page is so well written.

  • sirenna's Profile Photo
    May 21, 2006 at 6:01 AM

    Great photos and really informative, well written tips. Thanks for the tour of this fascinating place.

  • ncfg's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2006 at 12:13 PM

    Great page! I love the way you describe your tips. I never been there but i will go for sure! Nat

  • Aug 16, 2005 at 6:33 AM

    wonderful place. so colourful pictures!! i'm envious!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2005 at 10:01 AM

    great tips!

antistar

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