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Published: March 11th 2018
Portugal Day 2 - Knights Templar (Order of Christ) Castle & Church
A little back ground story is necessary.... The Knights Templar as we know them today were an army created, jointly by the Kings of Europe and the Pope to protect pilgrims that were travelling to the Holy Land . They evolved into THE elite fighting force of that period. They also acquired many riches and artifacts (allegedly such as the Holy Grail and The Ark of the Covenant) which is part of the reason for their demise. The Pope(s) and King of France did not like that they had become so powerful so on October 13, 1307 (this is where the bad luck of Friday the 13th comes from) they were declared to be Heretics and were all arrested to end the Knights Templar.... Or so they thought.....
It would appear that the Knights found out about the order and took their treasures and disappeared. Some years later the Order of Christ (in Portugal) was formed with a slightly different emblem and a lot of the same members that were formerly Knights.
So today we had planned to visit Castle Almourol on the the Tagus river.
I say planned because the water was so high we could not reach the dock where the boat was launched from. Had a nice visit at the cafe beside the river with a Pastel de Nata... the famous Portuguese egg tart.
Next we were going to another Templar location, the Convent of Christ. Created as a monastery and built in 1118. Spectacular building that has been modified by the many dynasties of Portugal over the centuries.
Back into Lisbon by 6:00 and then to dinner recommended by our concierge. The restaurant was called Sacramento and offered traditional Portuguese dishes like Iberian Pork with clams and Octopus & shrimp with rice. (Kinga - guess which one Elke had?)
Tomorrow - walking and tasting tour of Lisbon.
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