Convent of Christ

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Convent of Christ: Our most recommended tours and activities

Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

1. Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon

Spend a day in the Portuguese villages of Constância and Tomar to discover the history of the Knights Templar. Your journey will begin in Lisbon. Tomar was the Templar capital of Portugal and Spain and one of the most important in the medieval world. The main monument of the city is the Tomar Convent which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A short distance from Tomar is the Almourol Castle. This emblematic monument was at one time controlled by the Knights Templar. The Almourol Castle and the city of Tomar are perfect examples to understand the mystique of the Templars, men that were simultaneously Warrior Knights and monks that lived under a rigid military discipline, but at the same time with a great rigor in the spiritual life. At the end of the tour you will be dropped off at one of two locations in central Lisbon, either Restauradores or Marquês de Pombal. Please note, this tour is available from Tuesday to Saturday.

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Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Knights Templar Tour

2. Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Knights Templar Tour

Follow the footsteps of the mysterious Knights Templar, a religious-military order, on this full-day tour. The Templars played an important role Portugal's history from the country's foundation, until the era of Portuguese discoveries. Visit the picturesque village of Constância, as well as Almourol Castle, built by the Templars on a small island. See the Tomar Convent of Christ, a church inspired by the temple of Solomon. Explore its many cloisters and see the iconic Manueline window. Both offer insight to the Knights Templar. Tomar was the former headquarters of the Templars, making this place one of the most important sites in the medieval world, and is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Venture next to the Gothic-style Church of Santa Maria do Olival, a gorgeous 12th century church erected for the Knights Templar. Your guide will accompany you along the way, sharing stories and curiosities about the place you visit.

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From Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Castles Day Trip

3. From Lisbon: Tomar and Almourol Castles Day Trip

Begin your excursion with pick-up at your Lisbon hotel and board a private, air-conditioned car destined for Tomar, a historic city replete with beautiful testaments to the past. Here, discover the significance of the UNESCO-listed Convent of Christ and delve deeper into the history of the Knights Templar. See, two Templar churches and the Synagogue of Tomar. Then, try the Ginja and go to Constância for lunch. Visit the Almourol Castle and feast your eyes on a fine example of 12th century military architecture. Your tour concludes with drop off at your Lisbon hotel. 

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From Lisbon: Tomar, Almourol, & Dornes Knights Templar Tour

4. From Lisbon: Tomar, Almourol, & Dornes Knights Templar Tour

The first stop will be at Dornes, an ancient village, founded by the Romans. At Dornes we will visit the medieval Tower, built in the 12th century by Gualdim Pais, a Portuguese crusader and Knight Templar in the service of Afonso Henriques of Portugal. Cross Portugal’s bucolic central landscape and enjoy the breath-taking beauty of Castelo de Bode reservoir. Visit the ancient city of Tomar and delve into its mysticism. Discover the Convent of Christ, a World Heritage Site. Its history goes back several centuries and is steeped in myth. Do you know there is a Templar treasure waiting for you inside its walls? Your itinerary will be the following: hotel pickup, Almourol Castle, Constância Village, Castelo de Bode Dam, Tomar Historic Center, lunch & free time, Tomar Synagogue, S. João Batista Church, Christ Convent, and then hotel drop-off at the end of the tour.

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Lisbon: Private Knights Templar Tour

5. Lisbon: Private Knights Templar Tour

You will begin your tour with a visit to the Almourol Castle in the district of Santarem. Built on a small island 310 meters long and 75 meters wide in the middle course of the Tagus River, Almourol was part of the Tagus River Line. It is one of the most representative examples of the military architecture at the time of the Christian Reconquest. You will then visit the Santa Maria dos Olivais Church. The church, also known as the Church of Santa Maria do Olival, is located on the left bank of the river Nabao, in the city of Tomar, Portugal. Next up on your tour is the Convent of Christ. The entrance of the convent is made through a portico, an authentic sculpture by João and Diogo de Castilho. This Convent crosses times and artistic languages that travel through Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque, and has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1983. In the center of Tomar, you will be able to visit the oldest Portuguese Synagogue. Its roof is supported by 4 columns representing the mothers of Israel: Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, and is linked by 12 arches, symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. At the conclusion of your tour, you will be returned back to Lisbon.

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From Lisbon: Tomar Templar Full-Day Private Tour

6. From Lisbon: Tomar Templar Full-Day Private Tour

You will be met at your hotel to begin your day trip. Head north to visit the largest tourist caves in Portugal. Then turn East to head for your next point - discover Tomar, a 12th-century Templar town featuring a castle and the Convent of Christ – the latter was selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and served as the Portuguese headquarters of the Knights Templar. Visit the historic center of Tomar, including the Church of Santa Maria do Olival, which served as a 12th-century funerary pantheon of the Knights Templar, and the 16th-century Church of São João Baptista. Afterwards it is time for lunch, based on your preference, but it is recommended that you lunch in Medieval Tavern. This is the best way to taste Portuguese gastronomy and feel like real Knight of Templar. After lunch it is time to visit one more castle, that was part of the defensive line controlled by the Knights Templar - Castle of Almourol. The castle is situated in the middle of Tagus River, so the best way to reach the castle is by taking a boat. Finally, enjoy relaxing landscapes and rolling hills on the drive back to Lisbon.

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From Lisbon: Tomar, Christ Convent & Almourol Castle Tour

7. From Lisbon: Tomar, Christ Convent & Almourol Castle Tour

Meet your local guide and head to Tomar on a road trip that takes about one hour. When there, go directly to the Templar Castle and the Convento de Cristo Monastery and be amazed by this magnificent monument filled with history. Descend to the city of Tomar and visit the old town passing by the old Synagogue, the oldest in Portugal. You have the chance to walk around and find some of the most unique buildings in the city. Spend some free time to enjoy lunch.  Leaving Tomar, head to Constância, where Luís de Camões, the most famous Portuguese poet, is said to have lived. There, enjoy the magnificent views of the confluence of Zêzere and Tejo rivers. Take a small boat ride in the calm waters of the Tagus river up to the unique Almourol Castle island, where you have some more free time to explore. At the end of the day, return to Lisbon in the comfortable van. 

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Lisbon: Private Guided Tour of Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça

8. Lisbon: Private Guided Tour of Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça

After a pickup from your hotel, start the day with a visit to the Castle and the Convent of Christ in Tomar. Gaze in awe at the various styles of architecture including Romanic, Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance. Learn about the history and legends of the Templar Order and the Christ Order. You will understand the role that the orders played in the creation of the Kingdom of Portugal and in the maritime discoveries. Discover the symbols inscribed in some stones allowing you to get involved in the mysticism of the secret orders. Next, visit the monastery of Holy Mary of Victory. This monastery, usually called Batalha, is not only the largest Portuguese gothic monument but also the birthplace of the Manueline style of architecture and the place where the first Portuguese stained glasses were made. Learn more about the architecture, history, and legends of the ones that started the maritime discoveries, like Henry the navigator, who is buried there. Your last stop will be at the Royal Abbey of Alcobaça where the largest Portuguese gothic church is. In this monument, you can admire the gothic architecture of the twelfth century and discuss the influence of the Order of Cister in the creation of the kingdom of Portugal. Listen to the tragic love story of King Pedro I, the cruel one, and his beloved Inês de Castro, who was murdered by his father's order. In your free time, you'll have the opportunity to savor lunch or a snack, buy souvenirs, and take photos at your own pace.

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Lisbon: Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça Monasteries Tour

9. Lisbon: Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça Monasteries Tour

While heading north towards the Convent of Christ at Tomar and the Knights Templar headquarter in Portugal, you will discover the centuries-old link between them and the Kingdom of Portugal. With your guide, visit the convent's famous Manueline Window and the original round church (Charola), built at the end of the 12th century by the first great Master of the Templars. You will then proceed to Batalha, a 14th-century monastery built as a fulfillment of a promise made by King João I in gratitude for the victory in a battle against Castile. This secured the throne and guaranteed the independence of Portugal. You will then witness the Monastery of Batalha, a national Gothic-style building influenced by Manueline art. Following that, you will have an hour's free time for lunch at Batalha town. Finally, prepare to be dazzled by a masterpiece of Cistercian Gothic art, the 12th-century Monastery of Alcobaça, founded by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques. For its size, purity of architectural style, quality of materials, and the care with which it was built, it was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1989. At the conclusion of your experience, you will be returned back to your point of origin.

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Lisbon: Tomar, Obidos and Nazaré Private Tour

10. Lisbon: Tomar, Obidos and Nazaré Private Tour

Visit three of Portugal's UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this private tour from Lisbon. First stop is the scenic village of Obidos, where you will walk around and admire the medieval streets and buildings dating back hundreds of years. Next stop is the village of Tomar, famous for its castle. Learn about the strong legacy left over from Roman times. See the monument to the Knights Templar as well as the Convent Of Christ. Continue to the historical fishing village of Nazare to take in its breathtaking views. Then take a walk around the Monastery of Batalha, built in the Gothic style of architecture.

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What people are saying about Convent of Christ

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 150 reviews

Amazing sights, a lot of great information our guide carlos was funny and interactive! Great tour and brilliant tour guide!

It’s nice to get back in time and see where thr templars live and learned of their contribution to the modern day.

This tour was wonderful! Very informative. The guide was unusually educated and informed on the subject.

Carlos was a great, informative guide…full of history and with some humor. Timely pickup and drop off.

Recommended for every historian! I enjoyed it very much. Almourol castle is stunning. Jörg