This last Saturday, the 13th of March, a group of contributors and readers of the http://forum.thomar.org (in Portuguese), visited the Convent of Christ for its 11th meeting.
This was a very special one. I have been a part of this group since its early inception (I think I met them at their 2nd or 3rd meeting) and it used to be just a small number of enthusiast – no more than 8 – all discussing Templar history, the city of Tomar and its monuments and the Castle overlooking every one of these meetings. We shared books and copies of rare documents, we analyzed pictures and commented on new thesis about both the Templar Order and the Order of Christ. We had the ambition of growing in number and being able to share with more people our passion. Well, pretty much we have succeeded.
This time Rui, the main guy in a loose group without leaders or subordinates, had the idea of visiting the Convent after dark, having dinner inside, invite a few people who could talk about the Church of Santa Maria dos Olivais, see the result of a recent radar study about its floor and what lies underneath and thus commemorating the 850 years of the foundation of the Templar castle, almost to the date. In fact, the “stellar date” – so to say – is accurate, since with the precession of the equinoxes, the night sky at midnight presents the same configuration as it did that night of the 1st of March of 1160, when Master Gualdim Pais laid the first stone to the Charola Temple.
Rui arranged for a great and entertaining evening. We were guided along the dark corridors by actors playing different roles (an architect, a knight, even Gualdim Pais, the Master, who staged a short ceremony where he invested 4 children in the audience as Knights in a very funny and moving moment).
All in all a great evening spent within the walls of one of the most mysterious and most interesting Templar monuments in the world. I sure won’t miss the next meeting of this bunch!