In the 1st century BC, in what is now Tomar, the village of Nabância was founded, crossed by the river Nabanis, located on the outskirts of the prominente town that Emperor Augustus would found the following century and call Sellium. This latter town included the Roman road, which linked Olisipo (Lisbon) and Bracara Augusta (Braga) to Emerita (Mérida), as well as the wine trade route, which included Mediterranean provinces.
The city was abandoned in the second half of the 5th century and repopulated from the 12th century, when King Afonso I of Portugal conquered the region from the Moors (1147) and donated by Royal Charter to the Order of the Temple (1159). In 1160, the Templar Master Dom Gualdim Pais began the construction of the castle of Tomar.
The layout of the Medieval town is a cross with 4 arms pointing to 4 cardinal points marked by the 4 convents in the town. The centre, where the Town Hall and the Mother Church are situated, is the Praça da República. It is from here that the main public and religious buildings radiate: to the south, the Synagogue, the old Misericórdia Hospital, the S. Francisco Convent and the old town square; to the north, the seat of the Municipal Assembly, the Chapels of S. Gregório and Nossa Senhora da Piedade and the old Anunciada Convent; to the west, the CastIe hilI, the litle Senhora da Conceição chapel and the Convent of Christ; to the east, the bridge, the old MilIs and Presses, the Sta Iria Convent, the way to the Sta Maria do Olival Church and the school area ending with the Polytechnic. lf we follow this symbolic geometry, it is interesting to note that with the “Marnueline” church in the centre, the Praça da República, there is a circle that unites the Charola of the Convent (the Templar Oratory) to the Anunciada, Sta Iria and S. Francisco Convents. It was in this circle, in this holy space, that Tomar developed.
Tomar is located 22km from Torres Novas.
Places of interest:
The Christ Convent, the Castle of the Templars, Seven Mounts National Forrest, Chapel of he Immaculate Conception, Pegões Aqueduct
Chapel of São Gregório
Chapel of Santa Iria
Chapel of São Lourenço
Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais
Museum of the Matches and St Francisco Convent
Museum Luso-Hebrew Abrãao Zacuto (Synagogue)
Republic Square, St John Baptist Church, Dom Gualdim Pais Statue,
Tapir of Vale da Laje
Nabão River, Mouchão wheel and garden
Castelo de Bode Dam