Friday, 29 March 2013

Day trip to Tomar

In late February we took a day trip to the Portuguese town of Tomar, about an hour south of our little house in Figuiera dos Vinhos.  

Tomar, pronounced 'Tu-mar' is a lovely walkable city of about 20,000.  It was originally a Roman town known as Sellium, though any evidence of Roman habitation now lies far beneath the present city.

Most visitors come to Tomar to see the Templar Castle and monastery which was the headquarters of the Templars in Portugal during the eleventh century. Work on the castle continued for 200 years.  Although both men and women could join the Order, only monks were entitled to the rank of Knight. 

Having toured more than our fair share of castles, we stayed in the town square and admired it from afar.  Besides, there was a wicked wind whipping through the streets, and thoughts of a warm lunch, preferably served beside a crackling fire, began to overtake any desire to view the sights.

We had lunch in a pretty restaurant overlooking the river, alas no fireplace, but warm and cosy just the same.

Templar's Castle in Tomar - note the crosses in the stonework

Templare souvenirs of every sort  
Riverside view of the Park - Castle far left background
Town Hall with Castle behind and above
Church of St. John the Baptist

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