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Tomar



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The pride of Tomar is undoubtedly Convento de Cristo, a 12th-century castle which includes a monastery founded by the Order of the Templars.

The church and cloisters are in Manueline style, and the elaborate Janela de Cristo (Christ window), full of marine motifs, is particularly famous.

Charola, the original Templar church, has an octogonal shape and was recently restored.

But Tomar offers many other pleasures: while exploring its narrow streets, you can enjoy the shops in the Rua de Serpa Pinto street or the cosy restaurants, visit the Gothic Church of São João Baptista in the main square or one of the oldest synagogues in Portugal, which now includes a small Jewish museum.

The gardens of Parque do Mouchão, by the river Nabão, are ideal for a peaceful walk and exhibit an ancient water-wheel; in the 17th-century Church of Saint Francis, a curious little museum boasts of having the largest collection of matchboxes in Europe.

If you are lucky to visit Tomar in July, you can watch Festa dos Tabuleiros, a popular festival with pagan origins in which there is a procession of women carrying platters of bread and flowers on their heads.

Nearby, at the large Castelo de Bode Dam, a lake surrounded by hills and forests and with sandy beaches and islands is excellent for water sports, fishing and boating.

| Hotels (4) | Inns (1) | Pensions and Boarding Houses (5) | Manor & Farm Houses (1) |
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