Vlog 003: Portuguese wonders - Tomar and the Convent of Christ
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Today we’re exploring the city of Tomar which is about an hour drive from Nazare and about a 1,5h if you’re traveling from Lisbon. Fun fact: city of Tomar was designed as a cross with the convent in each cardinal point. To the west, on top of the hill is the Convent of Christ (Convento de Cristo).
In the 12th century, the convent was run by Knights Templar. When the Knights Templar was dissolved in the 14th century the Order of Christ replaced it. They used Templars wealth to fund all the expeditions in the Age of Discovery.
The convent was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
The Knights Templar were the elite fighting force of their day, highly trained, well-equipped and highly motivated; They were forbidden from retreating in battle, unless outnumbered three to one, and even then only by order of their commander, or if the Templar flag went down. It was the highest honor to die on the battlefield.
There were actually three classes within the orders. The highest class was the knights, monks (they wore white robes) and the Templar priest which wore green robes, they conducted religious services, led prayers.