Built in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, on an unknown date – between the 14th and 15th centuries –, the Chapel in Casal Farto once belonged to the Templars. The Knights Templar cross on the glass windows is proof of that. This Gothic Chapel is unique and holds valuables such as the image of Our Lady of the Rosary and a font made of stone from 1852.
Follow in the direction of Torres Novas and keep going towards the Castle of Almourol. This castle has very ancient and enigmatic origins; some authors defend that the Castle would have served as asylum for the Portuguese, while others defend that it would have been used by the pre-Romans. King Afonso Henriques gave the lands between Lisbon and Coimbra to the Templars for helping him with the conquest of Santarem and Lisbon. The knights rebuilt the Castle of Almourol. You can only get to the Castle by boat.
Located in central Tomar by the statue of the city’s founder, Gualdim Pais, St John Baptist Church was built in the 15th century and rebuilt in the 16th century. The Festa dos Tabuleiros (Festival of the Trays) – which takes place every four years – is based around St John Baptist Church.
In the heart of Tomar, you can see its peculiar architecture and its corner windows, which provide the houses in the Templar city with greater sunshine. You can also spread a towel on the grass and have a picnic by the Nabao River, in Parque do Mouchao.
Go up to the Convent of Christ and visit the Templar Castle, the Templar Rotunda, and the Manueline Church. The Convent of Christ dates back to the beginning of the Portuguese Kingdom, in the 12th century. It was the time of the Crusades and the Templars were forming new Christian Kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula. In 1159, The Templar Knights received the Charter of Ceras from King Afonso Henriques – which is a wide territory between Coimbra and Santarem – in appreciation for having taken part in the conquest of Santarem and Lisbon. This is where they founded the town and castle of Tomar.
At the end of the day, you can also visit the Aqueduct of Pegoes, which was built in order to take water to the Castle.
Curious Fact: King Afonso Henriques bestowed the lands of Tomar and Almourol to the Templars right at the same time. The Knights founded the city of Tomar and rebuilt the Castle of Almourol. If you pay attention, you will notice several similarities between both castles.
In this itinerary, you will visit:
1 - Chapel of Casal Farto, Sundial, Wells, and Cisterns
2 - Castle of Almourol and Riverside Park of Vila Nova da Barquinha
3 - Statue of Gualdim Pais and St John Baptist Church
4 - Parque do Mouchao and wooden Noria by the river
5 - Convent of Christ, Castle, Manueline Windows, Templar Rotunda, Manueline Church, and Aqueduct of Pegoes