Portugal’s hidden past revealed in Tomar
I started my overland journey in the west of Portugal and finished on the east of China. In between these end-of-lands is a lot of history. Throughout which many stories link up. Long-term readers may well know of these. Tomar is a legendary place on many accounts. It was founded in 1118 by the “Poor Knights of Christ” also known as the Templar Knights.
Grand Master D. Gualdim Pais completed the convent in 1160 only for Muslim invaders to surround it 30 years later during their invasions of West Europe. The convent defended this invasion which went on to become folklore on its strength and fortitude. In the 13th century the convent was known as castle and was again used to defend the area from invading Moors.
During the Popes “Templar Purge” then King of Portugal Denis replaced the Templars by name only to the “Order of Christ”. A shrewd move by a king to protect his throne and the Templar legacy. One of which was to protect precious artifacts from the time of Jesus Christ.
Tomar Convents unique architecture
Few buildings in Europe contain the architecture that Tomar Convent was created with.The church itself is round as a 16-side polygonal structure and built in the 12 century with inspiration said to come from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
There’s an outer wall, the church, a chapter house, citadel and indeed an aqueduct on the grounds. The turrets above the castle have stone decor resembling belts and buckles. Couple this with an intensely decorated chapter house window, arches and fountains it’s a spectacular example of heritage through the ages.
Every year during the holidays I publish 12 days of photographs from around the world. It offers a short break from the hustle, bustle and stress this time of the year can often bring. A collection of photographs from my journey that will hopefully distract, inspire and show you some unique and interesting places. I hope you enjoy!
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