After recently being chosen as the World Headquarters of the The International Order of the Knights Templar (OSMTH) – the oldest Knights Templar organisation in the world – Tomar will be hosting its first ever Knights Templar Festival later this month, put together by a consortium of local public and private sector organisations from the region, including a number of ex-pats.
The Festa Templária will take place in the city of Tomar later this month, from 23-26 May.
It is the first festival of its kind to be organised in the Knights Templar city of Tomar and aims to re-create the history of the region.
The town will be decorated in medieval style and there will be a medieval market and a local town market, guided tours and workshops.
Restaurants will be offering food from this period and many local traders and citizens will be dressing in medieval costume.
According to organisers the Festa Templária represents “another move towards branding Tomar as the most important Knights Templar city in Europe.
The main event of the Festival will be a torch light parade on Saturday 25 May, starting at the ancient Knights Templar church of Santa Maria do Olival.
From there the parade will pass through the Historic Centre of Tomar and finish in the UNESCO World Heritage Convent of Christ.
The Convent of the Order of Christ is a religious Roman Catholic building in Tomar, originally a Templar stronghold built in the 12th century.
“The parade celebrates the day when Knights Templar Grand Master, Gualdim Pais, chose Tomar to build his castle.
The castle that became the home and headquarters of the Knights Templar Order in Portugal”, the organisation explained.
An impersonator of Portuguese crusader Gualdim Pais will be at the head of the parade on a bedecked horse, followed by mounted knights.
Behind them will be over 100 knights on foot carrying torches.
The event is being supported by a consortium of local public and private sector organisations in the Tomar region, spearheaded by the local Regional Development Agency ADIRN (Associacão Para O Desenvolvmento Integrado Do Ribatejo Norte).
Members from the ex-pat community around Tomar have also volunteered to help with the running of the event, helping make medieval torches for the grand parade and acting as stewards during the event.
For more information on the event, see: www.festa templaria.pt.
source: http://theportugalnews.comEdited: 10 May 2013, 17:49