A different tour, with a visit to the Portuguese Templar`s city with one of the oldest synagogues in the Iberian Peninsula, together with Coimbra, the temple of knowledge where the library occupies a prominent place, all this in our Coimbra and Tomar Tour from Lisbon
Hotel / Apartment, Lisbon
Tomar crossed by the Nabao river and donated to the Templars in 1159. Gualdim Pais built a castle in 1160, headquarter of the Order of the Temple, and after its extinction in 1314 headquarter of the Order of Christ, founded in 1319, whole of its monuments, from the Byzantine-Romanesque to the Baroque, passing through the Gothic, the Manueline and the Renaissance, the most important being the Convent of Christ, the castle, the churches of S. João Baptista, Conceição, Santa Maria do Olival, and the Synagogue.
In Coimbra six kings of Portugal and the First Portuguese Dynasty were born, as well as the first University of the Country and one of the oldest in Europe, and the university is an insurmountable reference, from which arise student movements, political, cultural or social . Many of these movements and entities have not withstood the passing of the years, but others still resist vigorously over the years
The “Baixa” of Coimbra essentially covers the suburb during the Middle Ages, remaining outside the old walls, where the people, the merchants and the craftsmen congregated, was the center of life of the city, and will have just started there the development of the suburbs.
The toponymy of the Baixa would almost suffice to characterize it, showing how the various masters or crafts always clustered on the same streets.It is also here that we find one of the most important monuments of Coimbra, the 17th century Santa Cruz Church. XII.
“Rua da Sofia”, an artery along which the new university colleges were built, a natural complement to the University with the triumph of liberalism and the consequent extinction of the Religious Orders, many of these colleges fell into the hands of private people and destroyed, this street of unusual wide for the time, deserved the praise and astonishment of illustrious foreign travelers, being considered at that time one of the largest in Europe.
Established in 1290 by the Portuguese King D. Dinis the University the first to be built in Portugal and one of the first and most characteristic in Europe, the university, which was then called as “General Study”, was initially established in Lisbon, but it was moved to Coimbra in 1308 and, after many changes between the two cities, it permanently settled near the Mondego River in 1537, at a palace granted by King John III.
Joanine Library an imaginable treasure with the opulence of early 17th century architecture and arts, definitely one of the most spectacular and original European libraries in Baroque style.
Here we will understand the true importance of knowledge with thousands of works which lay upon a lavish space full of beauty and exoticism, where the richness of the painted ceilings is in harmony with the balustrades and shelves made of golden leaves and wood from the tropics.
A true temple of knowledge with the king who idolized him on the main altar.
Tomar was founded in the 12th century, was conquered to the Moors by the Portuguese King Afonso Henriques in 1147 and donated to the Order of the Temple in 1159, it´s Grand Master Gualdim Pais the city’s mythical founder, laid the first stone of the Castle and Monastery that would become the Headquarters of the Order in Portugal.
The knights Templars ruled all this region which they pledged to defend from Moorish attacks. Tomar was especially important in the 15th century when it was a centre for Portuguese overseas expansion under Henry the Navigator, that was the Grand Master of the Order of Christ, successor organization to the Templars in Portugal.
Today, the Convent of Christ is one of the most remarkable monuments in Portugal being included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1983.
The Convent of Christ preserves memories of these monks knights and of the heirs of their position, the Order of Christ, which made this building their headquarters. Under Prince Henry the Navigator, Master of Order since 1418, cloisters were built between the Charola and the Templars’ fortress, but the greatest changes occurred in the reign of King John III (1521-1557).
Architects such as João de Castilho and Diogo de Arruda sought to express the power of the Order by building the church and the cloisters with rich Manueline flourishes that reached the maximum splendor in the window of the western facade.
It is a peri-urban construction, set high on an elevation above the plain where the city extends. It is surrounded by the walls of the Castle of Tomar and the forest of the fence. Today it is a cultural, tourist and devotional space. The architecture shares Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque traits.
The church built in the 12th century and was the first headquarters of the Order of the Templars in the country. Classified as National Monument in 1910 and is one of the most emblematic examples of Gothic art in Portugal.
Here Gualdim Pais grand Master of the Order and founder of the city is buried among, other Grand Masters of the Order, a Church that seems smaller than what reality is once buried two meters below the ground.
Hugo at Walkborder Tours was amazingly knowledgeable, courteous and a charming guide. The vehicle was comfortable and he showed us everything we wished to see. Highly recommend by John from London.