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Monument to Dom Gualdim Pais at Tomar, Portugal.
Amares, County of Portugal
|Died||13 October 1195 (aged 77)
Tomar, Kingdom of Portugal
|Occupation||Crusader, knight Templar|
Gualdim Pais was born in Amares (a town in the province of Minho, near Braga) in 1118, son of Paio Ramires and Gontrode Soares. He fought alongside Afonso Henriques against the Moors, and received a knighthood by him in 1139, after the Battle of Ourique.
He departed for Palestine shortly thereafter, and during the next five years fought as a Knight Templar. He had a prominent role in the siege of the city of Gaza. He also fought in the Siege of Ascalon; in sieges and battles around Sidon and Antioch, and other campaigns of the Zengid–Crusader and Fatimid-Cruzader wars, against the Sultans of Egypt and Syria.
He was ordained the fourth Grand Master in Portugal of the Order of Knights Templar in 1157, which then was ruled from Braga. He founded the Castle of Tomar in 1160, then near the frontier with the Muslim states, and transferred the seat of the order there. The famous Round Church of the Castle of Tomar, inspired by similar structures in Jerusalem, was built under his supervision. He issued a feudal charter (foral), to the town of Tomar in 1162. During his life, he supervised the building or restoration of several other frontier castles for the Templars: the Almourol, Idanha, Ceres, Monsanto and Pombal (founding the settlement of Pombal and issuing a foral in 1174).