The place where the Templar master D. Gualdim Pais founded the city of Tomar in 1160 had an occupation long before the arrival of the Templar knights. The “Caldeirão” cave near Tomar, in the Nabão river valley, shows traces from prehistory to the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Visigothic and Middle Ages. The preference of the Knights Templar for ancient sacred places is popularly known. The mystical and spiritual charge associated with them attracted the ancient warrior monks in the search and appropriation of their mysteries and rituals.
There are several explanations for the origin of the name Tomar. The similarity of the name of Tomar with the word of Greek origin Theomar is evident. Theo is a proper name of Greek origin. It arises from théos, whose literal meaning is “god”. This was the way many Greek gods were called until, with the arrival of Christianity, théos started to designate God – central figure of the Abrahamic religions. Many believe that the Knights Templar sought to found, in the city of Tomar, an authentic city of God, in which the three monotheistic religions could coexist in harmony, praising the sacred and divine holy spirit. Perhaps the creation of a Theomar (sea of god) was the main objective of the Templars. The approximation of all peoples through the caravels with the symbol of their successors of the Order of Christ, who sailed through all known and unknown seas at the dawn of maritime discoveries, brought to the world the cult of the holy spirit. These celebrations originated in Tomar with the celebration of “Tabuleiros”. Even today they are practiced in several communities, from the Atlantic islands to Brazil, from the United States to the Asian continent.
We invite you to visit the templar city of Tomar by visiting the mysterious churches of S. João Baptista and the ancient templar pantheon of Santa Maria do Olival. Visit the only Medieval Synagogue still preserved in Portugal, the paleo-Christian convent of Santa Iria, which originated several Portuguese myths and the Mouchão wheel, a legacy of the irrigation engineering of agricultural fields left by the Muslims.