The Convent of Christ (Convento de Cristo) in Tomar is a vast monumental complex which stretches more than 7 km from Tomar Castle to the Convent aquaduct.
Work on building Tomar Castle began in 1160 by order of Dom Gualdim Pais, a Knight of the Order of the Temple, to whom Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, granted the lands and permission to occupy and settle the area.
The Templar's Oratory, or Charola, was built at the same time and finished in 1190.
After the Order of the Knights Templars was dissolved, in its place was created the Order of Christ, which, administered by Prince Henry the Navigator and benefitting from the knowledge and technology inherited from the Knights Templar, played an instrumental role in the epic achievement of the Portuguese maritime discoveries.
Architects such as João de Castilho, Diogo de Arruda, Diogo de Torralva and Filipe Terzi, among others, attempted to express the power of the Order of Christ in the Convent's architecture, creating an exuberant mixture of styles in which Manueline stands out, and of which the Window of the Chapter House (Janela do Capitulo) is the finest example.