Favorite thing: One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Tomar was because of this impressive aqueduct. Earlier in the trip, while in Spain, I had planned to visit the famous aqueduct in Segovia, but was unable to find the time. There was no way I was going to miss this one! After visiting the town of Tomar, we headed out on Rua de Leiria expecting to find the aqueduct easily just outside of town, however it proved somewhat of a challenge. Rua de Leiria winds up a hill on the northwest side of town and after driving for awhile we still hadn't seen it. Eventually, I looked over my shoulder and saw it behind me in the distance and realized I had passed it. Figuring that it could only be seen from a distance, my friend Pav and I pulled off the road and looked at it from a distance of at least of half a mile. Even from here it was a sight to behold, but we decided to head back toward town and see if there was any way to closer to it. After taking a few wrong turns and ending up on some private property, we eventually made it to a road that literally runs underneath the aqueduct. Situated in an isolated field behind the town, it looms like an enormous and beautiful relic from another place and time and being able to literally walk up onto the top of if was an experience that was simply unforgettable.
Favorite thing: The highlight of Tomar according to most of the guidebooks is the Convento de Cristo that watches over the town from high on the hill, but we didn't have the time to visit as we were headed to Coimbra that evening. The convent was founded in 1160 and was the headquarter of the Knights Templar who were an order of French knights who swore to protect the land from Muslim influences. It certainly looked impressive up above the historic Old Quarter, but don't overlook what's below. There are plenty of interesting shops, cafes and architectural details to be found while strolling around this pleasant part of town. We were only here for about two hours, but we were able to pop in to a couple churches and shops and grab a bit at a cafe before moving on.
Favorite thing: The little town of Tomar (in Ribatejo) might possibly be one of the more enjoyably charming towns I've ever seen. The medieval streets are lined with flowering trees, a peaceful duck-and-fish-filled river flows softly through town, and above it all, the large, fantastic castle/monastery of the Knights Templar looms on the hilltop.
The favourite thing is the thought and feeling of what was a knight templar...
The city was conquered by D. Afonso Henriques to the moors in 1147. Then it was donated to the Templars in 1159. After the extinction of the order of the temple in 1312 the order of Christ was founded based on the ancient Templar.
Fondest memory: The esoterism of the Convent of Christ.
Festa dos Tabuleiros: during this "party" people use a great crown of flowers over the head meaning the possibility to all to be king; from centuries until today, during this day, all the people was equal, all were kings.
Picture from http://www.tomar.com.pt/tradicao_pt.htm
Please go here and look but remember that this is an active church and respect is due.
There is much history here that dates back to the templar knights. Grab a book on the Templar knights and read about their lifes here in Portugal.
Favorite thing: You will find many fine marble works here in the church and in the sourounding buildings in the area. I like the look of the stairs and as you walk up them you have such a beautiful view.