Thursday, February 17, 2011

Portuguese Church Served as Knights Templar Headquarters

Recently I was reading through the Knights Templar magazine I came across some articles at the end of last year where the Grand Encampment was hoping to start Annual Pilgrimages of the Sites of Ancient Templars, but due to unforeseen events, they canceled the trip to Portugal in 2011.
The Knight Templar magazine is pleased to announce that we have arranged the first of what we hope will be an annual pilgrimage vacation for our Knights and their families. This trip is not a fundraiser for the magazine, the Grand Encampment, or any of the Grand Encampment charities. It is intended simply to be of service to our readers. We have done what we can to keep the cost low so that our Knights may have the opportunity to visit some of the sites of the ancient Templars. This first trip is particularly appropriate because it is to Portugal, virtually the only country that never suppressed the Templars since the 14th century. One of the modern Portuguese coins even has the depiction of two Knights on a horse used by the ancient Templars.
- Knights Templar magazine, November 2010 edition

Due to unforeseen developments, we decided that the Portugal trip would not be the best value for our readers, and the trip has been cancelled. We are already working on a trip to some Templar sites for 2012, and we will keep you posted. - Knights Templar magazine, December 2010 edition
Today I found an article online about the Tomar Castle in Portugal being an old Templar site on the Catholic Online website:
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Like all Templar round churches, its shape was modeled after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock, which was mistakenly believed to be part of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.
The building originally started as the castle of the Knights Templar of Tomar. Built by Gualdim Pais, provincial Master of the Order of the Temple around 1160, the castle was chosen as the headquarters of the Portuguese Templars.
The Tomar castle was built as part of a Templar defense system to secure the border of the Christian kingdom against the Moors of Iberia. In 1190 the castle of Tomar resisted the attacks of caliph Abu Yusuf al-Mansur, who had previously taken other Portuguese strongholds to the South. The round church, or rotunda or charola of the castle of Tomar was built in this early period and is Romanesque in style.

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