Houses tend to live longer than those who build them. Such is the case for this one. Back in the 18th century, some family sought to affirm beyond any doubt that they belonged in Tomar and that they were due a prime seat at the very axis of power, in the street that linked the square where the Town Hall faces St. John’s Church to that other square where the pillory ominously pontificates. Its windows are mostly facing the Convent of Christ, as if guarding the ones who guard us.
That’s precisely what those of us who now call it our house aspire to: to make it a home, for us and for you, with all that a home entails – memories, warmth, shelter, celebration, conviviality, tranquility, comfort. And, being a house in Tomar, it was mandatory that everything should remain the same, as much as possible, while change took place, so all the valuable architectural elements have been carefully preserved.
At Casa dos Ofícios, we are inspired by that passion for doing well what there is to be done and we honor those who have done so in the past. Each of our 14 rooms looks at one of the many arts and trades which in the past have shaped the history of the city, adding up with their daily labor to the monumentality of one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. We don’t aim at compromising your rest with thoughts of work; we have not aspired to blend an hotel and an ethnographic museum; and we certainly don’t intend to sell you “handcrafts” of dubious origins. With something like small cabinets of curiosities, we just keep and display fragments of the ways used to do one’s best in several activities, memories of a not so distant past and of those who helped in building the setting of our present. It was and is also through their work (and that of so many others) that Tomar was and is made, in this pleasant and leisurely way of exercising the art of existing. And their memory inspires us to do our very best for the privilege of welcoming you.