Travel in Portugal, Day 7, The Convent of Christ, Tomar

I was sad to leave Flor da Rosa.

15-2-26 Portugal Day 7 LR-12

Our destination was Tomarwhere I wanted to visit The Convent of the Order of Christ. The Castle of the Knights Templar of Tomar was built by Gualdim Pais, the 4th Grand Master of the Order in Portugal in c.1160 and became the headquarters of the Order in Portugal. When the Knights Templar were dissolved the assets were transferred to The Order of Christ (effectively the same organisation under a new name) which established headquarters in Tomar in 1358. In 1417 Henry the Navigator became Grand Master of the Order.

A gateway into the Castle, Tomar
A gateway into the Castle, Tomar
The walls of the Castle, Tomar
The walls of the Castle, Tomar
The gardens in the Castle
The gardens in the Castle
The remains of the Royal Apartments of Henry the Navigator
The remains of the Royal Apartments of Henry the Navigator

The Church is breathtaking. The round church was built in the mid 12C, inspired by the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem, with later additions including an extraordinary, ornate doorway.

TomarChurchPlanCC3

The door into the Church, Convent of Christ, Tomar
The door into the Church, Convent of Christ, Tomar

Inside the church the Octagon, the original Templar Church, is richly decorated and ornamented and set aside from the body of the Church with an archway.

Inside the Church, the original round Templar Church
Inside the Church, the original round Templar Church

Inside the Church, the original round Templar Church

Inside the Church, the original round Templar Church

Inside the church, looking from the Templar Church towards the Nave
Inside the church, looking from the Templar Church towards the Nave

I would have loved more time to photograph the details in the Chapter House window but I did manage the odd little face at the bottom of the window, winking at the world.

The Chapter House Window
The Chapter House Window
Figure on The Chapter House Window
Figure on The Chapter House Window

And on a pillar near the window is this carving which is said to represent the Knights of the Garter in England.

Carving near the Chapter House Window

The Convent was almost a city, with training facilities, sleeping quarters, guest accommodation, hospital, kitchen, refectory, ‘bathroom’ facilities, water supply, stables, gardens, and many, many beautiful cloisters.

The Grand Dormitory, Convent of Christ, Tomar
The Grand Dormitory, Convent of Christ, Tomar
The Refectory
The Refectory

The Pegões Aqueduct is c.7km in length and was completed in 1619. It was built to bring clean water for all purposes to the Convent, and also supplies the large fountain in the Royal Cloisters. (Interesting article with photographs here.)

The aqueduct bringing the water supply
The aqueduct, 7km in length, bringing water to the Convent
Aqueduct of Pegoes (Google Maps)
Aqueduct of Pegoes (Google Maps)

There were many beautiful tower staircases and this one led to an upper level.

Stair in the Royal Cloister

The Convent of Christ from an upper level
The Convent of Christ from an upper level
Tomar Town Square with a statue of Gualdim Pais, and the Castle in the background
Tomar Town Square with a statue of Gualdim Pais, and the Castle in the background

 

You may be interested in
Tomar and here
World Heritage Sites in Portugal – Tomar
Providing adequate water to a hilltop monastery
Templar Knights in Portugal
Statues in Tomar
Tomar’s Place in History
The Church of Santa Maria do Olival

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