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Photographer's Note

The town of Tomar was born inside the walls of the Convento de Cristo,that you can see at the top of the hill. Constructed under the orders of Gualdim de Pais, the fourth grand master of the Knights Templar in the late 12th century.

Tomar is one of Portugal's historical jewels and more significantly was the last Templar town to be commissioned for construction. Tomar was especially important in the 15th century when it was a centre of Portuguese overseas expansion under Henry the Navigator, the Grand Master of the Order of Christ, successor organization to the Templars in Portugal.

It is believed that he used the resources and knowledge of the Order to succeed in his enterprises in Africa and in the Atlantic. The cross of the Order of Christ (the red crosses that you see at the photo)that was painted in the sails of the caravels that crossed the seas, and the Catholic missions in the new lands were under the authority of the Tomar clerics until 1514. Henry, enriched by his overseas enterprises, was the first ruler to ameliorate the buildings of the Convento de Cristo since its construction by Gualdim Pais.

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