Anabela Freitas, president of Tomar council, told Lusa that the exhibition space’s inauguration was accompanied by the presentation of a network that envisions the creation of a “new tourism product at the national level,” in which it’s involved, on the Middle Tagus, in Tomar, Vila Nova da Barquinha and Ferreira do Zêzere.

The partnership also includes Turismo de Portugal, the regional tourism entities and various municipalities.

“Actively interwoven with Tomar’s municipal identity and the Templars Route, an initiative developed alongside Turismo de Portugal and the Middle Tagus Intermunicipal Community, this exhibition will reaffirm and contribute towards the municipality’s dynamization in various national and international networks, as well as developing the activity offering around the Knights Templar and Order of Christ,” a press release from the Tomar council states.

The product of a campaign through the Valorizar Programme, Turismo de Portugal’s initiative to dynamize the Interior’s tourism offer, the centre presents an expositional walk through “over 3000 years” of History, organised chronologically, that goes over the transformations in this territory since pre-History, going through the Roman, medieval and modern periods, with a focus on the Knights Templar.

“With the circuit, we’re offering, with the narrative conceived, we aim to use this sensory and technological visit to open the doors to the local modern age to reflect on the development of Tomar’s territory and community,” the press release adds.

Anabela Freitas confirmed that Tomar’s Templar Interpretative Centre’s installation in the Levada Complex, a touristic and cultural site that goes over the industrial secular development of the area, will allow for a “first contact” for tourists that visit the exhibition of Templar heritage, which they’ll then be able to visit firsthand in the municipalities involved.

In Tomar, the Templar Castle/Convent of Christ, headquarters of the Templar Order until 1314 and of the Order of Christ since 1357 and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, is particularly noteworthy, as well as Almourol Castle, in Vila Nova da Barquinha, and the Dornes tower, in Ferreira do Zêzere, all located in the same region.

In the Vila Nova da Barquinha Cultural Centre, since 2018, the Almourol Templar Interpretative Centre has offered a permanent exhibition room, a temporary exhibition space, a film room and a library that doubles as a Templar archive.