An Excursion to Tomar and the Knights Templar

Authored by:
Barbara Swisher

On our excursion weekend, we visited the ancient city of Tomar.  We toured the city and the Convento de Cristo, imagining were were part of the Knights Templar.

The Convent of Christ is a former Catholic convent (really monastery). Originally a 12th-century Templar stronghold, when the order was dissolved in the 14th century, the Portuguese branch was turned into the Knights of the Order of Christ, that later supported Portugal's maritime discoveries of the 15th century. ( Wikipedia)

There is mystery and fiction surrounding the Knights Templar,   were they  searching for and protectors of the Holy Grail? Their orginal role appeared in  12th century Jerusalem. Originally a military monastic order,  to protect the Holy Land's Christian pilgrims.

But there are some truths woven in with the mythology. They were known for their religious zeal, defeated many armies, and took a vow of poverty. They had many strongholds across Europe but in Portugal their influence was strongest and most enduring.  After the order was dissolved by the Pope they continued to be supported by Portuguese Kings, assisting in the 13th -century Reconquista and aiding in the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Were they good guys or bad guys?  That question remains.

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