Tomar, located 85 miles northeast of Lisbon in the centro region of Portugal, is an interesting city in Portugal. Tomar is home to the Convento do Cristo, a fortified monastery of the Knights Templar built by Gualdim Pais around 1160. In fact, that’s where the town started.
Underneath it all the Roman cities of Nabantia and Sellium lie buried.
Also worth a look is the 15th century Synagogue of Tomar which houses the small Jewish Museum Abraão Zacuto.
If you come, you might want to time your visit to the Festa dos Tabuleiros. It’s one of those old time festivals that starts with a religious procession and then gathers steam with a parade that has much to do with women carrying things on their heads. There is also a series of games. The Festa dos Tabuleiros is held only every four years, and 2011 is one of them. Jot down the dates: July 2nd through 11th.
Here’s what the tourist office says about the festival:
The high-point of the festival, whose origins date back to the 17th century, is an afternoon parade of girls carrying trays at head height stretching some 5 km across town. Other events throughout the festival include the Boys’ Parade, Crown Parade, Butler Parade and the unveiling of several Tomar streets emblazoned with brightly-colored paper flowers.