Today we present you Tomar, the city of knights!
A two-hour car drive, south from Porto takes you to Tomar, an ancient city known for the knight’s religious order: the Tempelários Order. An incredible place full of history, monuments and culture for you to discover. Take a look at AtWill’s ideas on what to do there:
First and most important thing: visit the Convento de Cristo (Christ’s Convent)! This incredible convent started to be built in 1160 and its history goes hand in hand with the early years of Portugal’s development. It was also the home of the military order of the Templários, knights responsible for defending Portugal from invaders and conquering new territories. This architectural gem had the most important Portuguese architects working on it during different centuries. The convent is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and there are a few details that you should not leave without seeing:
– The Charola, private oratory of the Templários, built between the 11th and 13th century and inspired by the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
– The famous window of the Chapter House, made during the 16th century in the Manuelino style, is full of references to the sea and Portuguese Discoveries era.
In the middle of the historical center there’s a beautiful area to explore, and you should stop by the old Synagogue that know holds the Luso-Hebrew Museum. There you will learn about the important Jewish community of Tomar in the 14th century!
Since this city has a long history with religious orders there is something that you can easily find around here: conventual pastry! There’s an incredible amount of sweets for you to try! But we advise you to taste the famous “Kiss me quick”, an egg and butter cake. It is so good! Go to the Estrelas de Tomar pastry shop (Serpa Pinto Street nº12) , one of the oldest and most famous in town.
A trip to Tomar is not complete without a visit to Café Paraíso, a centenary café located at Serpa Pinto Street nº127. This place had several visits of famous personalities like Fernando Lopes-Graça and Umberto Eco. Over the years, Café Paraíso had to adapt to the demands of its clients – many of them are students. Therefore, the establishment closes at 02:00. Because of that Café Paraíso is known for being heaven in the morning, purgatory in the afternoon and hell at night! And you need to see it, right?
Hope you enjoyed our tips for your journeys around Porto! And don’t forget that we can take you on the best tours around the city and Douro region! Just contact us and we will design the perfect route for you :)