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A wounded Knights Templar is on his knees praying to God. Source: Stephen Pierce/Adobe Stock

What Happened to the Knights Templar? (Video)

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Originating in the fervor of the Crusades during the 12th century, the Knights Templar emerged as a dedicated order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Founded by a small cadre of French knights, led by Hugh de Paynes, they initially operated from the former Temple of Solomon, hence their appellation. Taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they combined the rigor of monastic life with the martial skills of knights.

Over time, the Templars expanded their influence and responsibilities. Endorsed by Bernard of Clairvaux and granted special privileges by Pope Innocent II, they became a formidable force, engaging in battles and fortifications not only in the Holy Land but also in Europe, particularly during the Reconquista in Spain.

Their organizational structure evolved to accommodate their growing influence, with a grand master overseeing provinces and preceptories, each commanded by a commander. The order comprised two classes: the elite knights, adorned in their distinctive white surcoats emblazoned with a red cross, and the serving brothers, typically from humbler backgrounds, who supported the knights in their endeavors.

However, their rise to power and wealth eventually attracted the envy of secular authorities. King Philip IV of France, in particular, coveted their resources and orchestrated their demise. Accused of heresy and immorality, the Templars faced mass arrests, torture, and ultimately dissolution. Despite subsequent investigations exonerating them, their legacy endured, enshrined in myth and mystery.

Top image: A wounded Knights Templar is on his knees praying to God. Source: Stephen Pierce/Adobe Stock

By Robbie Mitchell

 
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Robbie

I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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