Templar Interpretation Center opens in Portugal

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In the close vicinity of the Templar city of Tomar, Portugal, one of the most evocative Templar Castles in the world can be found: Almourol. Situated in a small island in the middle of the Tagus river, overseeing both margins and guarding secret Templar routes from all enemies, Almourol is the subject of legend.

In late 2018 the Municipality of Vila Nova da Barquinha opened right in the center of the village, the new Centro de Interpretação Templária (Templar Interpretation Center), a place where the Templar Order and its continuation in the Order of Christ (of Discoveries fame) is celebrated with dedicated exhibitions, conferences, a comprehensive library and multimedia displays available to the public to explore.

The Center had the major backing, apart from the Municipality and the Portuguese Army that currently has jurisdiction over the Almourol castle, of researcher, philosopher and historian Prof. Manuel J. Gandra, the most respected authority in Templar studies in Portugal – not only because of his strong academic background, but also because he has been the most prolific and consistent author on the theme in the last 25 years. The Center and Prof. Gandra’s work have been fully endorsed by the OSMTHU, that plans to promote a few cultural events in 2019 and 2020 and associate the Order to this beacon of Templar history that merits the attention and collaboration of the Templar world.

The Templar Globe is preparing an interview with Prof. Gandra about the TIC. Meanwhile, please take a look at a video about this remarkable place.

Prior Bryant Jones – Conference – Dighton Rock (Video)

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Fr+ Bryant Jones, Prior of the United States OSMTJ sent us the link to his Conference at the Dighton Rock Museum. I hope you enjoy.

The Visit

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The morning sun was shining as bright as if it was Spring. But it wasn’t. Very, very close to the last days of Fall, we could see how the Tagus river carried the brownish fallen remains of dead leafs,  broken ashen tree twigs and orange tanned grass leftovers tried by a few days of hard rain and sweeping winds. Winter was coming, the air was cold. But the sun was having none of it! And in that fine lit morning, towering above the river waters in an impossible island, the invincible walls of the 850 year old Templar Castle of Almourol stood up, proud and mysterious.

We had the good fortune to have been found by the boat owner, who, after having spotted us looking at the towers with a smile on our eyes, asked from a distance “Do you want me to take you to the island?”


HE Fr+ Bryant Jones, Grand Prior of the Grand Priory of the United States (OSMTJ – Lamirand/Haimovici branch), whom I had never met before, was visiting the Templar region of Tomar, in Portugal, and asked me if I would show him around. I was pleased to be his guide. Often some of our brethren, when they have a stopover in Lisbon in their travels, like to meet with me for a chat, a couple of beers or dinner. Sometimes they have time to go to Tomar. Sometimes they accept my invitation to visit Sintra. Many times, however, they are only educated tourists. They love to tour the places they have come to admire on the internet or their printed tour guides. But the real deal moves them no more than a 360º degree iPhone App with HD photos. They would hit the “Like” button, sure. But Fr+ Jones was hitting the “Love It!!!!” button for two straight days! His passion and knowledge for everything related to the Templar Order and its history was amazing. And uncommon. A real revelation. How I wish all High Officers of the Order in its several branches would show such knowledge and appreciation for Templar history, values and life lessons as Prior Jones does! The amount of problem that would be solved… And the drama that would not unfold…

Yes, we visited every corner of the Templar Castle and Convent of Christ that can be visited and spoke hours on end about every little subject that came to mind. Over the two days it took to visit Tomar and Sintra, I almost lost my voice, so much so that I was forced to cancel a class I was teaching that night. We belong to different branches in the Order and we have – and will keep – our commitments to our own branches. However, we struck a real friendship, firmly based on shared values and passions, shared objectives and visions for the future. So, don’t be surprised if ever see us crossing the gates of Jerusalem wearing the same white mantle!

Luis de Matos

Programa RTP 2 – Visita Guiada – Convento de Cristo

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O claustro principal do convento de Cristo está referenciado na história da arte universal como um dos mais belos exemplares da arquitectura renascentista europeia. Mas este claustro é mais do que um tesouro da arte do renascimento, é a construção que enterra de vez a Idade Média em Portugal e o alinha com o novo humanismo europeu.

Convidado: João Paulo Martins, arquitecto
Visita Guiada é um programa de televisão e de rádio sobre os tesouros do património cultural português. Tesouros com reconhecido valor universal, peças que qualquer país ocidental se orgulharia de integrar no seu património, e pouco conhecidos dos portugueses.

De um cálice de prata com decoração moçárabe e mil anos de idade a um claustro que está referenciado como obra-prima do renascentismo europeu, passando por uma colecção de arte africana classificada como uma das melhores do mundo, a natureza dos objetos, o seu contexto geográfico e o seu tempo histórico variam de episódio para episódio.
Conhecer o Património Cultural português

New Visit to the Convent of Christ in Tomar

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This last Saturday, the 13th of March, a group of contributors and readers of the (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!

Tomar: Convento de Cristo gratuito ao público até Setembro aos Domingos e Feriados

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O Convento de Cristo, em Tomar, vai estar aberto ao público gratuitamente nos Domingos e Feriados deste Verão, até às 14:00 horas. Os visitantes são convidados a retroceder ao séc. XII para conhecer a época templária.

Considerado património Mundial pela UNESCO, o Convento de Cristo de Tomar cruza diferentes traços arquitectónicos, como o romântico, o gótico, manuelino, maneirista e barroco.

Pertenceu à Ordem dos Templários, tendo sido fundado pelo Grão-Mestre dos Templários, D. Gualdim Pais. Actualmente, conserva recordações desses monges cavaleiros e dos cavaleiros da Ordem de Cristo, que fizeram deste local a sua sede.

O espaço, actualmente cultural, turístico e de devoção, está aberto todos os dias. A entrada é gratuita aos domingos e feriados, até às 14:00 horas, segundo o divulgado em comunicado.

8º Encontro do Blog “Cavaleiros Guardiões de Santa Maria”

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O sítio dos Sete Montes, onde outrora os Templários estabeleceram a primitiva vila e castelo de Tomar é desta vez o local eleito para o encontro trimestral que o Blog Cavaleiros Guardiões de Santa Maria costuma promover. Estamos em pleno verão, e desta feita, este lugar que se institui como um conjunto monumental único no seu género, que importa recuperar, conservar e viver, dar-nos-à a sombra necessária para trazer à luz do dia, sob a égide de uma ecologia espiritual paradisíaca, a história das designadas Utopias das sociedades perfeitas. Se esse estado edénico perfeito se perdeu com a expulsão do homem do paraíso, que local melhor que a Mata dos Sete Montes para reencontrar esse estado que as Utopias anseiam fixar.


Dia 18
15.30 h Mata dos Sete Montes
Lanche e apresentação de palestra:

“7 Montes, 7 Colinas, 7 Útopias
Em busca da Jerusalém Celeste” por Luís de Matos
À semelhança das cidades milenares de Roma, de Jerusalém, Constantinopla ou mesmo Lisboa, onde 7 colinas são testemunho do seu carácter sagrado, a Mata dos 7 Montes que se pode aquilatar como o paraíso edénico da cidade de Tomar, servirá de palco para dar a conhecer as diversas “Útopias” que as várias correntes filosóficas ao longo dos tempos têm vindo aperfeiçoar de forma a encontrar a sociedade perfeita; desde a República de Platão, passando pela Jerusalém Celeste de Santo Agostinho e pelos ideais Templários, sem esquecer a Monarquia de Dante, Thomas More e o V Império ideializado por D. Manuel, caminharemos até à Sinarquia de Alveydre, não sem, contudo, desvendar o profundo significado do arquétipo número 7.

20.30 h
Jantar de Confraternização

23.00 h
Tertúlia Templária
O miradouro do Castelo com uma vista previligiada sobre a “iluminada” cidade de Tomar irá contextualizar e promover a discussão dos diversos temas que têm vindo a ser abordados no Blog. Aproveita-se o momento para apresentação de um projecto desenhado por um dos participantes.

Dia 19
11.00 h
Visita a Santa Maria do Olival

Reservas limitadas