Knights Hospitaller

Knights Hospitaller Definition

Learn about the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusader Period of Medieval History

Hospitaller knights were a militaristic religious order of fighting Knights.

However, unlike the Knights Templar, the Hospitaller knights were not just fighting knights but were also trained to care for injured, sick, and dying Christians.


Knights Hospitaller

Knights Hospitaller Names

The Hospitaller Knights had several names such as the order of Malta, the Knights of Malta, and the Hospitallers of St John.

The name of the Hospitaller knights indicates the nature of this militaristic order of knights who helped to care for sick and dying Christian Crusaders.


Grand Master Knights of Malta

Knights Hospitaller Clothing

Just like the Knights Templar, the Hospitaller knights wore very distinctive clothing that helped them stand out from other medieval knights.

Whereas the Teutonic crusader knights wore white costumes with a black cross the Hospitaller crusader Knights wore black costumes with a white cross.


The Knight’s hospitaller’s horse would also be decked out in the knight’s Hospitaller colors.

Hospitaller Armour

A Hospitaller crusader Knight was normally well protected by his armor, he would usually carry a kite-shaped shield that was black with a white cross.

A Hospitaller Knight wore a helm helmet to protect his head during battle which was a popular style in medieval times.

Knight Armour

The Hospitaller Knight’s warhorse was specially trained to fight itself in the battle itself and would be clothed in armor including armor to protect its face called a shaffron or chamfron.

A Hospitaller Knight’s horse would also wear the Hospitaller Knight’s distinctive black and white colors.

knights horse armor Head chamfronjpg

Weapons of a Hospitaller Knight

Hospitaller Knights could be armed with lances, long swords, or other weapons such as Maces, however, the Hospitaller Knight’s favorite weapon was his sword as was the case for all medieval knights.

The Hospitaller Knight’s sword had a special place in his heart and was the only weapon a Knight could not be without.

Medieval Knights History

If a Hospitaller Knight was dismounted he would fight with best weapon at his disposal which was usually his sword however other weapons such as maces, poleaxes and war hammers were also used in fights that went to ground.

A Collection of Medieval Knights Weapons - Medieval Mace Weapons

A collection of medieval Knights close combat weapons mainly maces and war hammers

As a last resort, a Hospitaller Knight would usually have a dagger at his disposal if he lost his other weapons, sometimes a Knight would also lose his shield and be forced into a grappling situation on the ground where the medieval dagger such as a Rondel Dagger would be ideal to penetrate gaps in the enemy’s armor.

Rondel Dagger

The Rondel Dagger

Knight Hospitaller *Knights of Malta

The Hospitaller Knights had several names however, they are widely recognized as being the Knights of Malta as well as the island of Malta was literally their own state which they controlled over many centuries.


During the time when the Knights Hospitaller (Knights of Malta) controlled this territory they were invaded by the mighty Ottoman army who attempted to take control, however after five months of furious fighting the Hospitaller Knights eventually overpowered the Ottoman army and this victory ensured that the legend of the Knights Hospitaller lived on.

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