ARCHITECT, Portuguese
(active late 12th century in Tomar)

Exterior view

Templar church, Tomar (Portugal)

The Spanish orders of knights were closely connected with the pilgrimage to Santiago. The Templars had arrived in 1188, and like the other orders of knights (e.g. the Hospitaliers) they were strongly influenced by France and French culture. They not only integrated elements from France into their architecture, but also attempted to imitate sites in the Holy Land. A truly international style was the result. A number of very characteristic buildings by these orders sprang up on the Iberian Peninsula during the twelfth and the early thirteenth century.

The largest of these churches is at Tomar in Portugal. At its site in the second half of the twelfth century was a fortification of the Order of the Templars with the church in the centre of it. Only some ruins of the fortification and the church survived. The Romanesque church consists of a centrally planned building with sixteen sides and with a free-standing, octagonal chapel in the centre. The interior is decorated with late Gothic painting and sculpture.

This building was intended to be a copy of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

View the ground plan of the Templar church, Tomar.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.