You all know me and I suspect dumbstruck is not a word many of you would associate with me. Well, it happened today – I was struck dumb. Not for long, of course, but it did happen.

We have been staying on the great municipal campsite in Tomar for a couple of nights – electricity, wifi, bread van comes around in the morning. The receptionists even do your washing for you. Fantastic. We are here to visit the Convento do Cristo, a World Heritage site which began life as the HQ of the Order of the Knights Templar in the 12th century.

I won’t bore you with all the history (I can hear the sighs of relief from here) as they are easy to look up and I’m sure the dads will do that and tell you everything in the comments. What I will say is that it is the most spectacular and awe-inspiring place I have ever been too. Entry is €6 – even if you took a GreasyJet flight to Lisbon, train to Tomar and had to pay for overnight accommodation, I would say it is money well spent. If you are ever in the area (by which I mean the northern hemisphere), see it.

I’ll let the photos do (most of) the talking.

Cloisters aplenty….

Tiled chapels, painted ceilings, marble floors….

Extravagant Manueline architecture – think Gaudi, about 300 years before Gaudi was born….

Huge dormitory corridors, tiny spiral staircases…

Ruins, ramparts, aquaducts, views….

Modern cafe and conveniences in vaulted rooms (I’m washing my hands in the ladies in the second photo!)….

And the piece de resistance – the 12th century Romanesque round church. I nearly disgraced myself by swearing quite loudly when we first walked in but managed to bite my tongue.

And we topped the walk home off with a sunset over the castle and old part of town.



Hard to believe – such carving! I am a huge fan of the stone spiral staircase. We are getting very keen to be in Europe and I have been trolling the motorhome websites. Mental note: must talk to Liz about rental option. The new feature of location details in the header is a winner and we have enjoyed your itinerary on our clockwork version of G-Earth. So far, we haven’t found street view for Portugal and have to rely on other folks’ photos now that you have moved into wildlife mode (present blog notwithstanding). Have been trying a few Portuguese phrases – impossivel!

Most inspriring,I feel one should mention the nautical themes of the Manueline
gargoyles were of course inspired by the great Portuguse age of discovery
Vasco de G , Magellan , Ronaldo etc
thank you

Thanks for the input there WikiPeteia.

First check on your blog in many moons. Fantastic. Might join you Jan 7th-10th? Magellan helps me record dolphin sightings in NW Oz.

Categories: Architecture, Portugal | 1 Comment

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  1. Pingback: Busy, busy, busy | A Portuguese Adventure

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