Tomar castleGualdim Pais, Master of the Knights Templar, began construction on the castle on 1 March 1160 on a hilltop site overlooking the town of Tomar on the east bank of the River Nabão. The military branch of the Order installed itself in the citadel. The keep remains today as a genuine reminder of the Order's presence here.
In the western part of the fortification is the Charola, a fortified oratory, which was connected to the outer curtain of walls to the north and the south, defining an irregular perimeter that followed the natural terrain. In the castle interior there are two lines of walls that define three interior spaces in the fortress; the living quarters for the Knights Templar to the north; and the parade ground or interior courtyard and the area once occupied by the residents of the fortified town to the south. This residential area still existed at the beginning of the 16th century.
This military complex had an entrance that directly served the town to the south and which is adorned by two fortified towers - the Al Medina gate. Through this gate one accessed the parade ground and the Knights Templar's military headquarters along an old stone paved path, the remains of which can still be seen next to the Washing Cloister.