5 Must See Places in Tomar, Portugal
Our hotel in Tomar was situated in a street adjoining the street by the River Nabao. Since sunset was a couple of hours away we loitered around the streets of old town of Tomar. Narrow streets dotted with little shops, they seemed to have shut down for the day. Tomar seemed like a quiet town, didn’t find too many people and the traffic too didn’t seem much. Tomar is packed with lot sightseeing places. Here are 5 must see places in Tomar.
1. Convento da ordem de Cristo
This is a world heritage site. It was founded in 1118 and took almost 5 centuries to complete the construction. No wonder it has turned out to be a masterpiece! This will take 2 tours to tour and you will want to spend more time to observe more details. Don’t forget to take the map at the entrance it will guide you through the various rooms. A must see here is the north window from outside. A visit to this site alone in Tomar will make it rewarding enough.
2. Castleo de Tomar
The castle where knights of Templar resided! The Castelo now houses religious icons, treasures, architectural details and stories. It was built in 12th century and takes as long as 2 hours to tour the area. A newer portion from 16th century too has incredible architectural details. Guided commentary will be an added benefit if you wish to take in all details.
3. Pegoes Aqueduct
The sheer size is stunning! Just imagine the amount of skill people had in those days. It is so lengthy (6kms) that it seemed to extend on and on. The aqueduct has 180 arches, 58 of them at a great height of 30m. In its early years of existence, the Pegoes Aqueduct served the purpose of getting water to the convent. Construction started in 1593, under the reign of King Dom Filipe I (Filipe IV of Spain). This is Portuguese national monument since 1910.
4. Synagogue of Tomar
The synagogue here is a well preserved one. It is located in old part of Tomar. Entry is free to this monument. It has a good collection of pictures, artifacts and some history of Jewish people of Tomar. Remember to wish the lady managing this monument “Shalom”. It won’t take long to tour this small but important monument of Tomar.
5. Igreja de Santa Maria dos Olivais
Many Templar knights are buried here. Small church, stashed with many tombs. The dates and names are mentioned. You will also find the initials of the builders of this church here. Interesting fact is it has 8 as basic in its construction. 8 indicates infinity, probably they associated with this. This is the first Templar church in Tomar built by Gualdino Pais; constructed almost at the same time as the Castle. Tour time is hardly half an hour to 45 minutes.