Tomar (النطق في البرتغالية: [tuˈmaɾ]), also known in English as Thomar, is a city and a municipality in Santarém District in Portugal. The town proper has a population of about 20,000. The municipality population in 2011 was 40,677,[2] in an area of 351.20 km².[3]

View of the old town of Tomar and the Nabão river
View of the old town of Tomar and the Nabão river
علم Tomar
درع Tomar
Coat of arms
الإحداثيات: 39°36′N 8°25′W / 39.600°N 8.417°W / 39.600; -8.417Coordinates: 39°36′N 8°25′W / 39.600°N 8.417°W / 39.600; -8.417
البلد الپرتغال
Intermunic. comm.Médio Tejo
 • الإجمالي351٫20 كم² (135٫60 ميل²)
 • الإجمالي40٬677
 • الكثافة120/km2 (300/sq mi)
منطقة التوقيتUTC±00:00 (WET)
 • الصيف (التوقيت الصيفي)UTC+01:00 (WEST)
الموقع الإلكترونيhttp://www.cm-tomar.pt

The town of Tomar was born inside the walls of the Convento de Cristo, constructed under the orders of Gualdim de Pais, the fourth grand master of the Knights Templar in the late 12th century.

Tomar is one of Portugal's historical jewels and more significantly was the last Templar town to be commissioned for construction. Tomar was especially important in the 15th century when it was a centre of Portuguese overseas expansion under Henry the Navigator, the Grand Master of the Order of Christ, successor organization to the Templars in Portugal.

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Praça da República (Republic Square) and Paços do Concelho (17th century Town Hall), in Tomar. The bronze statue represents Gualdim Pais, founder of the town.

Tomar lies in the most fertile region of Portugal, and one of the most fertile in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula: the Ribatejo ("by the river Tagus") meadows. It is located in the district of Santarém. The predominant treescape is agricultural, consisting of olive, pine and fig trees.

The seat of the municipality is the city of Tomar, which comprises the parishes of Santa Maria dos Olivais and São João Batista. Tomar is also the capital of the Médio Tejo (Mid-Tagus river) region.

The Nabão River cuts across what was the ancient city of Nabantia: its inhabitants are called Nabantinos.


Under the modern city lies the Roman city of Sellium. After the conquest of the region from the Moors in the Portuguese Reconquista, the land was granted in 1159 as a fief to the Order of the Knights Templar. Its Grand Master in Portugal, and Tomar's somewhat mythical founder, Gualdim Pais, laid in 1160 the first stone of the Castle and Monastery that would become the headquarters of the Order in Portugal.

Local traditional legends preach that the choice was for mystical reasons and by divine inspiration, from practices like geomancy by the Grand Master, based on exercises taken from luck and predestination. Reinforcing this magical view is the fact that the lot was part of a small chain of seven elevations (lugar dos sete montes), which became known as the city of seven hills, as the seven hills of Jerusalem, the seven hills of Rome or the seven columns of Constantinople.[4]

The foral or feudal contract was granted in 1162 by the Grand Master to the people. The Templars ruled from Tomar a vast region of central Portugal which they pledged to defend from Moorish attacks and raids. Like many lords of the unpopulated former frontier region of central Portugal, the villagers were given relatively liberal conditions in comparison with those of the northern regions of Portugal, in order to attract new immigrants. Those inhabitants who could sustain a horse were obliged to pay military service in return for privileges. They were not allowed the title of Knight which was reserved to the monks. Women were also admitted to the Order, although they didn't fight.

In 1190 Abu Yusuf al-Mansur, a Moroccan caliph, and his army attacked Tomar. However the crusader Knights and their 72-year-old leader kept them at bay. A plaque commemorates this bloody battle at the Porta do Sangue at the Castelo Templário (Castle of Tomar).

Castle and Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar (transferred in 1344 to the Knights of the Order of Christ)

In 1314, under pressure from the Pope Clement V, who wanted the Templars banned throughout Europe, King Dinis negotiated instead to transfer the possessions and personnel of the Order in Portugal to a newly created Order of Christ. This Order in 1319 moved south to Castro Marim, but in 1356 it returned to Tomar. In the 15th century the position of (cleric) Grand Master of the Order was henceforth nominated by the Pope, and the (lay) Master or Governor by the King, instead of being elected by the monks.

Henry the Navigator was made the Governor of the Order, and it is believed that he used the resources and knowledge of the Order to succeed in his enterprises in Africa and in the Atlantic. The cross of the Order of Christ that was painted in the sails of the caravels that crossed the seas, and the Catholic missions in the new lands were under the authority of the Tomar clerics until 1514.

Henry, enriched by his overseas enterprises, was the first ruler to ameliorate the buildings of the Convento de Cristo since its construction by Gualdim Pais. He also ordered dams to be built to control the river Nabão and swamps to be drained. This allowed the burgeoning town to attract more settlers. Henry ordered the new streets to be designed in a rational, geometrical fashion, as they can still be seen today.

In 1438, King Duarte, away from Lisbon because of the Black Death, died there instead.

View of the round Templar church (12th century) of the Convent of the Order of Christ
Church of Santa Maria do Olival, burial place for the Knights Templar of Tomar

Just after 1492 with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the town increased further with Jewish refugee artisans and traders. The very large Jewish minority dynamized the city with new trades and skills. Their experience was vital in the success of the new trade routes with Africa. The original synagogue still stands.

In the reign of Manuel I of Portugal the convent took its final form within the Manueline renaissance style. With the growing importance of the town as master of Portugal's overseas empire, the leadership of the Order was granted to the King by the Pope.

However, under pressure from the monarchs of Spain, the King soon proclaimed by Edict that all the Jews remaining within the territory of Portugal would be after a short period considered Christians, although simultaneously he forbade them to leave, fearing that the exodus of Jewish men of knowledge and capital would harm Portugal's burgeoning commercial empire. Jews were largely undisturbed as nominal Christians for several decades, until the establishment of a Tribunal of the Portuguese Inquisition by the initiative of the Catholic Clergy in the town. Under persecution, wealthier Jews fled, while most others were forced to convert.

Hundreds of both Jews and New Christians were arrested, tortured and burned at the stake in autos da fé, in a frenzy of persecution that peaked around 1550. Many others were expropriated of their property. Jewish ascendancy, more than Jewish religion, together with personal wealth determined whom would be persecuted, since the expropriations reverted to the institution of the Inquisition itself. The town lost then with the persecution of its merchants and professionals most of its relevance as a trading centre. New Christian names among the inhabitants are very common today.

In 1581 the city was the seat of the Portuguese Cortes (Feudal Parliament) which acclaimed the King of Spain Felipe II as Portugal's Filipe I.

During the 18th century Tomar was one of the first regions of Portugal in industry. In the reign of Maria I, with royal support, a textile factory of Jácome Ratton was established against the opposition of the Order. The hydraulic resources of the river Nabão were used to supply energy to this and many other factories, namely paper factories, foundries, glassworks, silks and soaps.

Tomar was occupied by the French during the Napoleonic invasions, against which it rebelled. Duke of Wellington with his Portuguese and English troops liberated the city afterwards.

In 1834 all the religious orders, including the Order of Christ, were disbanded.


Church of São João Baptista (15-16th centuries) in the centre of Tomar.
View of the park, with river Nabão

Tomar attracts many tourists because of its varied monuments. These include:

Magnificent ensemble of 12th- to 16th-century architecture and art, it is the main monument of the city and one of the most important in Portugal.


  • It is rumored that Tomar hides the world's greatest templar treasure (L'or des Templiers: Gisors ou Tomar? Maurice Guinguand, 1973)
  • It is rumored that there is a secret passageway between the Santa Maria dos Olivais church and the Castle.
  • The Castle of Almourol nearby is where several bad events (deaths and tragic love stories) have taken place and is supposed to be haunted by a princess.[5]

Schools and Education

Tomar has several schools including primary, junior high school, high schools and a Politechnic. These include:


The Municipal holiday day is March 1, and commemorates the day when the Templars Master D.Gualdim founded the Templar City in 1160.

Local Festival and Events

  • Festa dos Tabuleiros (Trays Festival), an ancient tradition in Tomar, is the most important festival celebrated in the city, attracting people from all over the world. The festival is held every four years, the last being held in June and July 2015. The local population parades in pairs with the girls carrying tabuleiros on their heads. The tabuleiro is made of 30 stacked pieces of bread, either in 6 rows of 5 or 5 rows of 6, decorated with flowers. At the top of the tabuleiro is a crown which normally contains either a white dove, symbolising the Holy Spirit, or the esfera armilar (armillary sphere), a symbol of the historical Portuguese maritime expansion.
  • Festa de Santa Iria
  • Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Religious Festival) - Held on first Sunday in September
  • Festival Estatuas Vivas de Tomar
  • Congress of Soups of Tomar
  • Festival Bons Sons (Cem Soldos) - One of the most popular Portuguese Music Festivals
  • Festival Internacional de Tunas da Cidade de Tomar
  • Tomarimbando - Festival de Percussão de Tomar
  • Feira da Laranja Conventual
  • Beer Fest of Tomar
  • Summer fests in Tomar district - Serra Tomar is the largest one
  • Remember PimPim (80's music festival)
  • Knights Templar Festival

Local Food Specialities

  • Fatias de Tomar
  • Beija-me depressa (kiss me quickly) - Estrelas Confeitery

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Sports Activities

  • União de Tomar - Football
  • Rugby Clube de Tomar - Rugby
  • Tenis Clube de Tomar - Tennis
  • Centro Hípico Quinta de Azinhais - Hiking
  • Sporting de Tomar - Hockey on Rollerblades
  • SF Gualdim Pais - Gymnastics, Swimming
  • Ginasio Clube de Tomar - Gymnastics
  • Associação Tomarense de Aviação Ultraligeira (ATAUL) - Aviation
  • AeroCalminhas - Aeromodelism
  • Pantanal Club - Nutic modelism
  • Associação de Natação do Distrito de Santarém (Headquarters in Tomar) - Swimming
  • Motor Clube de Tomar - Motocross and Off-Road
  • Clube TT Minjoelho - Off-Road
  • Automovel Clube de Tomar - Car Rally
  • Clube Amadores de Pesca de Tomar - Fishing
  • Clube de Caça e Pesca da Zona dos Templários - Hunting and Fishing
  • CALMA, Clube de Actividades de Lazer e Manutenção - Running, Riding
  • Clube Columbófilo Tomarense - Columbofilia
  • Grupo Desportivo da Nabância - Canooing
  • Aventura Templar - Nautic Sports, Boat rental, Sky, PaintBall, etc...
  • SCOCS(Sport Clube Operário Cem Soldos) - Judo
  • O Vale dos Cavalos - horse riding lessons, trail riding and horse holidays

Films shot in Tomar

  • 2014 A Porta 21, directed by João Marco (with Mário Spencer, Pedro Monteiro, Pedro Viegas)
  • 2011 Pão Nosso (Documentary), directed by Mónica Ferreira, João Luz
  • 2009 Juan de Castillo constructor del mundo (Documentary), directed by Alberto Luna Samperio (Etnocantabria)
  • 2009 La reine morte, directed by Pierre Boutron (with Michel Aumont, Gaëlle Bona, Thomas Jouannet)
  • 2007 Teresa, el cuerpo de Cristo, directed by Ray Loriga (with Paz Vega, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, Eusebio Poncela)
  • 2007 Infante D. Henrique (Documentary), directed by José Francisco Pinheiro (with Gonçalo Cadilhe)
  • 2006 Coach Trip (TV Series), directed by Amanda Wood (with Brendan Sheerin, Andy Love)
  • 2005 Pedro e Inês (TV Series) (with Pedro Laginha, Ana Moreira, Nicolau Breyner)
  • 2004 O Quinto Império - Ontem Como Hoje, directed by Manoel de Oliveira (with Ricardo Trêpa, Luís Miguel Cintra, Glória de Matos)
  • 2003 Volpone, directed by Frédéric Auburtin (with Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Prévost, Gérard Jugnot, Robert Hirsch)
  • 2001 Quem És Tu?, directed by João Botelho (with Patrícia Guerreiro, Susana Borges, Rui Morisson, Rogério Samora, José Pinto, Francisco D'Orey e Bruno Martelo)
  • 1985 Atlântida: Do Outro Lado do Espelho, directed by Daniel Del Negro (with Luís Lucas, Teresa Madruga, Ruy de Carvalho)
  • 1922 A Sereia de Pedra, directed by Roger Lion (scenes shot in June and July 1922 at the Convento de Cristo and Ruinas do Castelo dos Templarios)

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  3. ^ Direção-Geral do Território
  4. ^ [2] - TOMAR DOS TEMPLÁRIOS: A SEDE PORTUGUESA DA ORDEM DOS TEMPLÁRIOS - Ademir Luiz da Silva, Revista Mosaico, v.4, n.1, p.92-103, jan./jun. 2011 - in Portuguese
  5. ^ Description of Tomar

وصلات خارجية

قالب:Municipalities of Santarém