To better understand the region’s history, it is important to understand the path and influence of the Order of Knights of the Temple, which was established in Portugal to help, the first Portuguese kings, to the Christian Reconquest. The Tomar Castle, founded in 1160 and inspired by the fortifications of the Holy Land, was, at the time, a modern and innovative military device, which served as their headquarters and is one of the greatest exponents of their journeys through the region. Two centuries later, in the 14th century, Pope Clement V would order their extinction, to stop their power and wealth in Europe. In Portugal, by the hand of D. Dinis, the properties and privileges of the Templars ended up being transferred to the Order of Christ, a key element in the Crusades and Discoveries.

Today, on a visit to the region, you will still notice the presence of the Knights Templar, both for its architectural splendor and for its artistic and cultural richness. Venture out, too, in discovering the religious beliefs and habits associated to them: rituals, symbols and coded languages served as inspiration for books and films. Among the countless legends that surround them, there is one that tells that it is in these lands that the Holy Grail rests (which is not certain if it was a relic, the holy Shroud or even the Chalice used in the Last Supper, by Jesus Christ) and which would have been under the tutelage of the Order of the Temple.

For this, and much more, come and visit the Templar lands of the Médio Tejo!