Welcome to Tomar – the historical city situated in Central Portugal, a one-hour drive away from Lisbon.
Tomar is a hidden gem, surrounded by lush green forest, calm and serene lakes, and numerous historic sites and monuments. Its rich cultural and religious history makes it a unique place to visit.
It was home to the Knights Templar Order, an ancient Christian order of knights that played a significant role in the history of Portugal and Europe as a whole.
The History of Tomar:
Tomar has a rich history that dates back to the time of the Roman Empire.
However, it is mostly known for its link with the Christian crusading period of the Knights Templar Order. Tomar played a pivotal role in the history of the Knights Templar, who were a powerful Christian order of knights that protected pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land.
The city was home to the Knights Templar, who built their castle here, the Convent of Christ, and other religious monuments, which are now significant tourist attractions.
The Convent of Christ:
The Convent of Christ is the most important tourist attraction in Tomar, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The convent was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century and includes magnificent examples of Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance architectural styles.
The building has an extensive network of rooms and halls that are worth exploring, such as the Main Cloister, the Chapter House, and the Charola.
The Charola is an octagonal chapel that represents the center of the world to the Knights Templar and was designed as a mini reproduction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
Tomar is also renowned for its culinary delights with an abundance of traditional local cuisines on offer.
The local cuisine features freshwater fish, such as trout and bass, served with delicious seasoning and vegetables, which is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The cherry liqueur, Ginja, is a must-try in Tomar, made from the local cherry, which is distinct in taste and is a perfect way to end your meal.
The Festas dos Tabuleiros:
The Festas dos Tabuleiros, which translates to “Festival of the Trays,” is a 10-day event held every four years in Tomar.
It is a vibrant and colorful festival that is celebrated to honor the Holy Spirit and has been considered one of the most important cultural events in Portugal.
During the festival, the streets of Tomar are adorned with eye-catching flower arrangements, and women carry large trays with bread and flowers on their heads in a traditional procession.
Discover Tomar, Portugal:
Tomar is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s most remarkable and best-kept secrets, and it is a place that should be on every traveler’s list when they visit the country.
The city has a unique charm thanks to its rich history, stunning architecture, breathtaking landscape, and delicious cuisine. It is a destination that should not be missed if you are interested in historical and cultural tourism.
So, if you ever decide to visit Portugal, make sure to add Tomar to your list of places to see.
Exploring Portugal’s Ancient History: From Ruins to Architecture to Art
Some of the most intriguing destinations are those that are steeped in ancient history, like Portugal. The country boasts of numerous landmarks and monuments that date back to different periods in its rich and diverse culture.
From ancient ruins like the Roman temple of Evora to classic architecture like the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, stunning art, and small cobblestone streets, Portugal gives you that feeling of instant wonder. Understanding and respecting cultures’ past is crucial in comprehending and appreciating modern-day society.
So take a trip with me and explore Portugal’s unique history.
Portugal State of Mind
One of the best things about history is the diverse motivations behind the various structures and monuments built by past civilizations. A visit to Portugal’s Tower of Belem or the Castle of Sao Jorge portrays this diversity.
The Belem Tower, built in the early 1500s, was initially purposed as a defense mechanism to protect Portugal’s empire. Conversely, the Castle of Sao Jorge, built around the eleventh century, was initially designed as a royal palace.
It later served as a prison, a military fortification, and even a refugee camp.
Time Travel Experience:
Taking a tour of ancient Portugal serves to teleport you to another time and place. The Roman temple of Evora, which dates back to the first century, stands as an exceptional remnant of a civilization that once occupied Portugal.
As you walk around the lively city of Evora in the Alentejo region, it’s easy to overlook the Roman ruins that lie beneath the scenery. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to witness preservation work being done to make sure that the ancient place stands for several generations to come.
Exploring ancient Portuguese history presents an unparalleled educational experience, especially for students or anyone interested in historical architecture.
The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a sixteenth-century monastery, is a symbol of the power and wealth that the Age of Discovery brought to Portugal. Entering the church, you’ll quickly notice the ornate, intricate ornamentation covering the ceilings and walls.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and is definitely worth a visit.
Cultural Understanding and Intellectual Development:
Studying Portugal’s ancient history goes beyond exploring landmarks but delving into what makes the country’s unique culture and identity.
From the moment you arrive in Lisbon, you’re immediately engulfed by a relaxed, welcoming vibe. As you walk around the city’s cobbled streets and gaze at the various statues and street paintings, you get to embrace the country’s rich culture.
The overall effect is sure to broaden your cultural understanding and intellectual development.
Learning from Art and Architecture:
Portugal is a visual feast of ancient architecture, including museums, churches, and palaces dedicated to art and culture polish the experience.
From Gudhi’s decorative tiles to the intricate masonry on the elegant Carmo Convent, Portugal’s ancient architecture showcases unparalleled artistry and skill.
These monuments provide an excellent learning experience, especially for architecture students, and infuses an appreciation for maintaining past heritage.
Discovering Natural Wonders:
Portugal is not only home to stunning architecture but also to natural beauty such as the Palace of Pena in Sintra.
The palace, built-in 1836 by King Fernando II, is remarkable for its mixture of Gothic, Moorish, and Renaissance architecture.
With its vibrant pastel colors and turreted towers, it stands out as an exquisite representation of Portugal’s beauty.
Portugal State of Mind
Portugal’s ancient history is fascinating, enriching, and worth exploring. Its diverse architecture, art, and culture history offer an education-rich experience that leaves a lasting impression.
From ruins to classic architecture to art to small cobblestone streets, exploring Portugal is an experience that allows you to appreciate and celebrate the country’s rich history and culture.
A visit to Portugal is a unique opportunity to learn from the past while enjoying the present and looking into the future.