Archive for July, 2011

Rua de Coimbra, another modern area of Tomar in Portugal

Rua de Coimbra in Tomar, takes the name of the City of Coimbra which is the third biggest town in Portugal, and is about 80Km away from Tomar. It’s interesting to know that in the City of Coimbra there is a street called Rua de Tomar. This street is the one I used to take when I had to go to Coimbra more than 20 years ago, but nowadays there seems to be a different and faster way to reach that city, which at one time served as Portugal’s capital during the middle ages. This is a more modern area of Tomar and here you can find all kinds of commercial activities, such as coffee and pastry shops, electrical, house decoration and construction shops, insurance companies, supermarkets, etc.

Rua de Coimbra in Tomar, Portugal

Rua de Coimbra is in a modern area in Tomar, and took the name of the City of Coimbra in the centre of Portugal. If you go to Coimbra you may have to drive through this street

 

Rua de Coimbra in a modern area of the City of Tomar in Portugal

Another perspective of Rua de Coimbra in the City of Tomar. The interesting part is that there is a street called Rua de Tomar in the City of Coimbra

 

Rua de Coimbra in a commercial area of the City of Tomar in Portugal

You can find all kinds of commercial activity at Rua de Coimbra in Tomar. There are coffee shops, supermarkets, insurance companies, shops with building materials, etc

Inside the Convent of São Franscico in the City of Tomar

This topic is dedicated to parts of Tomar indoors, but in this case these photos were shot inside the Convent of São Francisco, thought they are not exactly indoors. This is possibly the courtyard where Franciscan monks of the past used to spend some time. It is here that the biggest Match Museum in the world is located. I intended to take photos of the Matchstick Museum (Museu dos Fósforos) founded by Aquiles de Mota Lima, but at the time it was closed. So I took a few pictures of the courtyard instead.

Courtyard of the Convent of São Francisco in the City of Tomar in Portugal

This is the courtyard of the Convent of São Francisco in Tomar, where Franciscan monks possibly used to gather in the past. This convent was founded in 1624

 

Courtyard of São Francisco Convent in Tomar, Portugal

Another shot of the courtyard of the Convent of São Francisco in Tomar. The door in front of me loeads to the Avenue General Bernardino Faria at an area called Varzea Grande

 

Door out of the Convent of São Francisco in Tomar, Portugal

Still inside the Convent of São Francisco in Tomar which used to belong to an order of monks originally located in a village called Santa Cita, not far from Tomar

Residencial Luz, another inn at Rua Serpa Pinto in Tomar

Residencial Luz (Light Inn) at Rua Serpa Pinto (Corredoura) in the City of Tomar, also features in this site, not because I have any commercial interest, but because it’s located in the main street of Tomar and I used to walk past this lodging for travelers all the time, while I was in Portugal. The reasons some hotels and inns appear on my photoblog is more related to chance, circumstances and the fact that I like the photos. So there is no commercial interest on my part. Who knows may be in the future I will consider a site of Tomar dedicated to commerce and business. Anyway this inn is surrounded by restaurants, supermarkets and all kinds of shops. It’s also located in an area rich in historical monuments.

Residencial Luz, an inn at Corredoura in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Residencial Luz in a rainy day at Rua Serpa Pinto (Corredoura) in Tomar. This inn is surrounded by restaurants, small supermarkets and in fact all kinds of shops

 

Redidencial Luz at night, an inn in Tomar, Portugal

This is Residencial Luz at Corredoura at night and I shot this picture after having a coffee at the famous Café Paraíso in Tomar, which is 100 years old

 

Residencial Luz, an inn at Rua Serpa Pinto in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Another view of Residencial Luz at Corredoura in the City of Tomar in Portugal. This inn is located in an area of the town, rich in historical monuments

Urban gardens in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Just a bit of history. The concept of urban gardens seems to have been popularized in England by Sir Ebenezer Howard in the late 19th century. Howard believed that overcrowding and the decline in quality of life in cities, needed to be addressed. That’s when urban gardens came to life in unhealthy cities. Well, Tomar is the opposite of an unhealthy city as it is covered with public and urban gardens as you can see in these photos below at Alameda Primeiro de Março and Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira.

Urban Garden at Alameda Primeiro de Março in the City of Tomar in Portugal

This is an urban garden right in the middle of the avenue Alameda Primeiro de Março in Tomar. This avenue isn't far away from Rua Marquês de Pombal where I used to live

 

Urban Garden at Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira in the City of Tomar in Portugal

This urban garden is located in front of apartments at Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira in the City of Tomar. This area is near the Supermarkets Modelo

 

Cobblestone pathway at an urban garden in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Same urban gardens at Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira in Tomar. This cobblestone pathway heading to the apartments, shows the workmanship of the Portuguese cobblestone layers

Pigeons in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Many cities and towns in the world, specially city squares have pigeons everywhere and some are even famous because of that, like Trafalgar Square in London. The small City of Tomar also has a square called Praça da República, which like other plazas is also full of pigeons, but this time we decided to show you just a few pigeons, in places a bit distant from that square. They probably live in that square where the Town Council of Tomar is situated, but they also fly away to other parts of the town, perhaps with the expectation of being fed, away from the competition.

Pigeon near the water wheel at Mouchão Park in the City of Tomar in Portugal

A solitary pigeon at Mouchão Park, near a traditional wooden water wheel, which in the past used to be common in the banks of Nabão River

 

Pigeons near Nabão River in the City of Tomar in Portugal

A few more pigeons around Nabão River near theold bridge of Tomar. Nearby there are two restaurants whose customers sometimes feed them

 

Pigeons near the Old Bridge in the City of Tomar, Portugal

Photo of a few more pigeons, shot at Nabão River in a location with a view to the old part of Tomar and the old bridge

Human statues of Santa Iria, Nuno Alvars Pereira and António Silva Magalhâes

Continuing this series of the Festival of Human Statues in Tomar, I am enclosing photos of three live statues representing important personalities in the history of Tomar and Portugal. The first photo portrayed by one of the street artists is of Santa Iria, the saint patron of the City of Tomar, the second one is of the Portuguese general Nuno Álvares Pereira, who saved Portugal from losing its independence to Castile (Spain) in the 14th century. The third photos is from the photographer of Tomar, António Silva Magalhães, whose collection of photos are an important source of information of the City of Tomar in the 19th century.

Human Statue of Santa Iria, patron saint of the City of Tomar

Human statue of Santa Iria, the patron saint of Tomar who became a martyr in the hands of one of her suitors in the year 653. She was a nun, a very beautiful woman and was thrown into Nabão River

 

Human Statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira, a General who saved Portugal

This is the Human Statue of Nuno Álvares Pereira, who commanded several battles against Castile, among them the Battle of Aljubarrota (14 August 1385) who saved Portugal from being ruled by a foreign King

 

Human Statue of Antonio Silva Magalhães, the photographer of the City of Tomar

Human statue of António da Silva Magalhães, who left a rich photography legacy of the City of Tomar in the 19th century. He is known as the photographer of Tomar

Dilapidated door and wall in the City of Tomar in Portugal

For those who have seen the paintings of Antonio Tapies, a contemporary Spanish artist from Barcelona, and read about him, know that some of his paintings were inspired on mundane and rugged things on walls, doors, alleys and pathways. Though this is somewhat different, I also find crumbling, defaced and decrepit walls and doors, very artistic. I know that the delapidated doors and walls on these photos in Tomar, weren’t produced on purpose. In fact they were the result of neglect but they are artistic nevertheless, and that’s why I took the time to take a few shots of this places. In this case this is a door and a wall located at Travessa da Cascalheira in the City of Tomar in Portugal.

Dilapidated door and wall in the city of Tomar in Portugal

This is a crumbling door and wall at a street called Travessa da Cascalheira in the City of Tomar in Portugal and because of the neglect it conveys something artistic

 

Decayed garage door in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Neglected door at an old street in Tomar. In some way, this dilapidated door might inspire an artist like Antonio Tapies to produce another Matter Painting

 

Crumbling garage door in Tomar, Portugal

Close up of a somewhat decayed door in an old street in Tomar. The inscription on the door is Garagem, which of course, in English means Garage. Some keeps or used to keep his car here

People walking at Corredoura in the City of Tomar

I know that several photos of Rua Serpa Pinto (Corredoura) in the City of Tomar have already been published and by now you probably have a good feeling of what the street is all about, but I believe that each one of them shows a different angle of this street. Corredoura was once the place to be, where the best shops in town were located, and people who lived in one of those houses at Corredoura were very proud. They felt that they lived in a special area of Tomar. Rua Serpa Pinto is no longer the centre of commerce in Tomar, but historically it’s still the most important street in my home town.

People walking at Corredoura in Tomar, Portugal

In the past this street was the centre of Tomar. Centuries ago carts with horses were a normal feature in this street, then with the advent of cars, they took over, but now Corredoura is only used by pedestrians

 

People at Corredoura in the City of Tomar in Portugal

At Rua Serpa Pinto (Corredoura) in Tomar, cars can no longer use this street, which in my view was a great improvement to the City of Tomar

 

People facing the Castle of the Knights Templar in Tomar, Portugal

When heading to Praça da República in Tomar, the pedestrians at Rua Serpa Pinto (Corredoura) are always facing the Castle of the Knights Templar

The garden outside the Round Church at the Convent of Christ in Tomar

These photos are still outside the Convent of Christ in the City of Tomar and still focused on the Round Church (Charola), but now I wanted to give the visitors of this photoblog, a better view of the outdoors garden. Though these photos don’t show everything in the garden, there are very nice benches all around you, where you can have a rest and relax, while enjoying the outside views of this historical Convent in Tomar and Castle of the Templars.

Garden outside at the Convent of Christ in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Charola, also known as the Round Church at the Convent of Christ in Tomar, seen from a shadowed corner of the gardens outside the convent

 

Garden outside the Round Church at the Convent of Christ in the City of Tomar

Even from outside, in the middle of the gardens of the Convent of Christ in Tomar, you can feel the past of this magnificent UNESCO listed monument

 

Garden near Charola at Convent of Christ in the City of Tomar in Portugal

Another view of a more dense area of the gardens of the Convent of Christ of Tomar. At some distance is the Round Church and on the right a partial view of a few battlements of the castle

The flags of Portugal, City of Tomar and others

When I arrived in Tomar for a six week holidays, a few days later I went to the Shoping Center Modelo at Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira. When I arrived the first thing that called my attention were the flags furling away on four poles, right in front of the shopping centre. Looking up I could immediately recognize the Portuguese flag, but the flag of the City of Tomar was also there. There was one flag that I didn’t recognize, but the fourth one was from SONAE, a Portuguese conglomerate that operates retail stores in Shopping Centres.

The Flag of Portugal in Tomar

This is the Portuguese flag furling away on a pole at Modelo Shopping Centre, at Rua Coronel Garcês Teixeira in the City of Tomar in Portugal.

 

Flags on poles in Tomar, Portugal

Four flags. From left to right: Portuguese flag, flag of the City of Tomar in Portugal, I didn't recognize the third one, but the fourth flag belongs to SONAE, a Portuguese conglomerate which is the largest private employer in Portugal

 

Polaroid effect of the flags at Modelo Mall in the City of Tomar in Portugal

The same four flags on poles near Modelo Mall in the city of Tomar, but this time with a polaroid special effect over a background of mosaic glass