January 2nd - Day 6 - Tomar:
I am staying in Tomar today. It is too beautiful a town not to explore. Also, my feet need more time to heal, and finally, there is no hurry anymore.
Tomar is the quintessential medieval town and the most perfect example of Templar layout and architecture to survive to this day. The Templar castle, which overlooks the town, is called 'the Convent of Christ' and it was here that I went first. It is impressive from the town but even more impressive close up.
The Templar Order has had a checkered history. The Templar Order was outlawed by King .Philip of France and the Pope was pressured into suppressing the Order in 1312. Many fled to Portugal
where they were welcomed by Dom Denis, and in a stroke of genius, re-branded the Knights under the title 'Order of Christ.' This satisfied the Church and they were able to continue. Various leaders of the movement encouraged navigation and many of the great Portuguese explorers had their beginnings here, as they set sail to explore the New World.
Time does not permit a description of the castle of the Convent of Christ, but more can be found by looking up Tomar, Convent of Christ, or Templar Knights in Google or Wikipedia.
In the afternoon I visited the town, visiting some of the other historical sites.
In the evening I found a nice restaurant for a meal and then returned to the hotel.
Reflection for the day for the day:
Having a vision. The Templars had a vision of a better world which they sought to live in spite of opposition. How bright is my vision. How did I seek to live it out today?