Saturday, January 12, 2013

Travelogue: Day Trip from Coimbra - Tomar

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In the area between Lisbon and Coimbra there are not one, not two, but three old UNESCO-recognized convents and monasteries: in Tomar, Batalha, and AlcobaƧa.  We could only visit one, and all of them sounded equally fascinating to me.  D tipped the scale to Tomar's Convento de Cristo due to its connections with the Knights of Templar, and we were off.  We visited Tomar on our way from Coimbra to Estremoz (in the east-central part of Portugal) but it could be easily done as a day trip from Coimbra.

The convent is a great example of the Portugal-specific Manueline architecture, which is sort of a softer, less serious version of Gothic architecture. On the seriousness scale you can see already in the thumbnail below where this place falls!  One column on the church had a belt on it!  The church had a bit of a nautical theme, and the lichens growing all over it somehow added to that feel.  We spent a good part of the morning wandering the halls, dormitories, and cloisters of the convent, then stopped for a pastry at the cafe.  This is where D and I had our first experience with the glorious dessert that is chocolate salami.

Check out the pictures for more details about the church.  Tomar is definitely worth a couple hours of your time if you're in the area!

Tomar Okt 2012

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