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Travel Portugal - Convent of Christ, Tomar

Travel Portugal - Convent of Christ, Tomar

January 2020 · 3 min read


Convent of Christ

The Convento de Cristo rises on top of a hill, within the walls of the Castle of the Templars, dominating the city of Tomar, Portugal.

Both the castle and the convent were headquarters of the Templars in the year 1314 and the order of Christ in 1357. The castle was built in the year 1160, and the set is currently classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.


Convent of Christ


The Chapter Window

The famous architect João de Castilho was part of the construction of the Convento de Cristo, extended from the XII to the XVII century, and today the building itself is a true museum of Portuguese architecture, combining Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance styles.


Charola of the Templars


Charola of the Templars

It was built in the XII century, following the model of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. The Templar roundabout is an octagonal two-story building, supported by eight pillars; an ambulatory with an octagonal half-cannon dome, separated from the outside by sixteen sides.

The interior is decorated with paintings by Portuguese artists and some wooden sculptures.


The main cloister

It is the most emblematic and important cloister of all the cloisters of the Convento de Cristo. It was built between 1557 and 1566 largely by Diogo de Torralva.

It is known as the Cloister of Felipes in honor of Felipe II, who placed the crown of Portugal here in the year 1581.

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This consists of two floors, consisting of Tuscan columns on the ground floor and Ionic columns on the top. Its decoration is sparse, which contrasts a lot with the Manueline decoration of the nave. It has three windows, although only two are visible. The first is on the right, when you enter the main cloister. In order to see the most famous window, you must go down to the Cloister of Santa Bárbara.


The Chapter Window


The Chapter Window

It is the work of the most incredible Manueline decoration in all of Portugal. Designed by the architect Diogo de Arruda, it was sculpted from 1510 to 1513 from the roots of a cork oak, which are supported by the bust of a captain. The decoration goes up over two masts with different titles.

It has marine vegetation motifs including corals, ropes, algae and currents.

The ensemble is covered with the emblems of King D.Manuel II and the cross of the Order of Christ, which is also found on the balustrade that surrounds the ship. The window is tied with a rope from two towers, one surrounded by a chain of characters that symbolizes the order of the Golden Fleece; and the other by a ribbon, which represents the order of the Jarretera.

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Convent of Christ


Convent of Christ




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