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The origin of Tomar Castle is closely tied to the beginning of the Portuguese kingdom and to the presence of Knights Templar in the Iberian Peninsula - at the time mostly occupied by Islamic kingdoms. This was the time of the Crusades and the peninsula was recognized as a Crusade land just like Palestine. In this context, the Knights Templar take an active role in the formation of new Christian kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula.
The Knights Templar came to Portugal in 1128. In 1159, King Afonso Henriques awarded them a vast territory situated halfway between Coimbra and Santarém, known as Termo de Ceras, as a reward for their role in the conquests of Santarém and Lisbon (1147). The Knights Templar founded the Tomar Castle and Village in this region. As a result of the persecution against the Knights Templar by Philip IV of France, the Order was extinct in 1312 by Pope Clement V.
Portuguese King Dinis, however, wishes to keep the Knights Templar and their assets under a new cavalry order, circumscribed to his Kingdom.
The Militia of Our Lord Jesus Christ is established in 1319 after a few years of negotiation with the Holy See.
This new cavalry order followed the same rules and spirit of the extinct Templar Order.

First Millennium

Since archaeo-historical times, the geography of the region around Tomar has been conducive to human settlement, with the valley and topography emerging as key factors in attracting people to the area. (...)
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The Knights Templar

Jerusalem is taken by the armies of the Second Crusade to Palestine in 1099. Approximately twenty years later, nine knights from France and Burgundy set up a brotherhood with the intent of protecting the pilgrims throughout the dangerous routes between th (...)
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The Order of Christ

Pope Clemente V´s Vox Clamantis bull in 1312 decreed the abolishment of the Order of the Temple and all of its assets to be handed in to Hospitallers across all Christian territories. (...)
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The extinction of religious orders and the Convent of Christ

With the Liberal revolution in 1834 the male religious orders were extinct. However, Queen Maria II keeps the Militia of Christ as an honorary Order, with her as the Master. (...)
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The Overseas Missions Seminar

Instituted in 1922, it occupied part of the Convent of Christ, mainly the western wing, the Ravens Cloister, the Micha Cloister, the Mess Room, the Kitchens, the Dormitories and the outward vegetable gardens. The purpose of this seminar was to train clerg (...)
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Regional Military Hospital nº 3

With its closure in 1993, the support for the sick and infirm provided by the Convent of Christ since the 17th century came to an end. (...)
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