Right in the centre of town, this church dating from the 15th century has been enriched with artworks until the 17th century, with special notes to some original paintings from the 15th century.
Free visit from 8 to 19, except by lunchtime and sunday afternoon.
Close to the Convent, and working as its entrance, allowing to see both monuments in a single visit, this stronghold from the 12th century still keeps some ow the ramparts and doors.
As a passing way to the marvelous Convent, I think that no one gives it the proper attention, but, in the way out, why not a closer look?
World Heritage to UNESCO, this is the highlight of the town.
Special attention must be given to the main door, the "Charola" a chapel inspired in eastern architecture, and above all, the Manueline window, considered the top of that Portuguese style. But even the cloisters and the functional area of the convent deserve your attention, if you have a good guide to explain you how things used to work.
In my recent visit the Charola was closed to maintenance, and could only be seen from the entrance. I don't know how long it will take, but you better be aware of that small drawback.
The lake made by Castelo do Bode dam, one of the bigger in Portugal, with its islands and sandy beaches, very close to Tomar, is a good place for water sports or fishing, or just for a stop after visiting the city.
Up on the hill a short walk from the Templar complex the Renaissance Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao was intended as the funerary chapel for Portugal's King Joao III, who died in 1557. Due to political events he ended up being buried in Lisbon instead, and so the chapel remained as a reminder of Tomar's apex of greatness. Instead of historical significance, the chapel makes do with a geographical one. Its location on the far side of the hill from the convent gives it a view of the town below that is as good as from the walls of the Templar Castle itself.
During your visit to the Convent of Christ you should not forget to have a look at the famous manueline window. It is said to be one of the masterpieces of manueline art in Portugal. The window of the designer Diogo de Arruda is visible from the Saint Barbara Cloister.
The Castle of the Templars and Convent of Christ more or less the same complex are extremely beautiful. Both are listed as world heritage of the UNESCO and I think once you have been there, you know why.
Check the link for information about the history of this place!
Just a about three kilometers away from the convent you can have a look at the well preserved aqueduct which used to supply water to it. At the parking it is possible to climb it, but I am not sure if the statics of it allows to cross it. At least no signs were visible saying anything against it.
I think it is absolutely worth to come here and if you have time you can even walk here from the convent.
In case you do not want to drive to the aqueduct, you can have a look at the place where it arrives at the convent. It is certainly no replacement but quite nice to see. There are two good places to see it, one is from the inside the Convent area, the other is from the outside on the opposite side to the entrance.
A very unusual exhibition is located in the museum of matches. You will find uncountable numbers of matches from all over the world and of many decades. Interesting are the prints on the boxes as they tell you stories of different countries and epoches. You will remember many events in history for example the German reunion (you will e.g. find matches from GDR, BRD and the united Germany). Some match boxes have funny prints or show a touristic place.
I don't know if it is always for free, but I did not need to pay anything.
Tomar is a pretty town, not only at daytime. So why not taking some nightshots? Especially the main square I found very suitable for some good shots...
I had no tripod with me that day, a planting pot and a garbage bin had to be substitute...
In the middle of the old town you will find the nice main square.
On the upper side there is the city hall. Here D. Manuel I had lived for a while before he became king of Portugal.
In the center of the square you will see a statue. It is Dom Gualdim Pais who lived from 1118 to 1195. He was the founder of the city of Tomar.
On the lower side is the Church of São João Baptista.
During daytimes there are two cafes open with tables on the side of the square.
Rightin the center of the old town you will find the main square. At the lower side there is the Church of São João Baptista, which was built in the 15 and 16th century. I think it looks beautiful and fits perfect into the assembly of building around the square. Have a look a the beautiful manueline styled portal.
Some more information you will find at the link attached.
If in Tomar, don't even think of missing the crusader castle at the top of the hill. It was built by Gualdim Pais, a master Templar, who also founded the town. After the order of the Temple was disolved, the castle passed onto the Knights of the Order of Christ, as well as most of the crusading knights themselves. It's useful if you do your own research about the history of the castle, as the information provided there is sketchy. A must for architecture and history lovers!
I wouldn't say that there was one particular store or area, but smaller town equals smaller prices. I saw a lot of really nice shops on Rua Serpa Pinto and Rua de S. Joao. Rob was very amused with the mini ovens. There were also some nice small markets so if you were looking for culinary souvineirs (like we always are!) this may be a place to look.