The Knights Templar was originally just nine Knights who came from wealthy families in France. They were all relatives of the French nobleman Hugues de Payens who formed the ‘order of the Knights Templar’.
The Knights Templar’s original mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on the perilous journey to the Holy Lands which were now under Muslim Turkish rule.
The Knights Templar were given permission to set up their headquarters in the Temple Mount in the Holy city of Jerusalem by King Baldwin II, this was a very important location within the city.
The Knights Templar’s headquarters were located in the Aqsa Mosque which was believed to stand on the site of King Solomon’s Temple, King Solomon was a legendary ruler from ancient times who is believed to have great wisdom and wealth.
There are a lot of legends concerning the Knights Templar Legend has it that the Knights Templar spent this time digging under the Temple Mount until they found hidden treasures, and more importantly ancient knowledge that is believed to have given them great wealth and power.
When the Knights Templar returned to Europe after their nine years at Temple Mount they quickly became very wealthy and powerful.
Many wealthy noble families of Christian faith throughout Europe and churches are also believed to have been sympathetic to their cause of reclaiming the holy lands and had given them land and money in support of the cause.
legend has it that it was the treasure and knowledge gained from the items they found at the Temple of Solomon that gave them their true wealth and power.
They are also said to have discovered the ‘Ark of the covenant’ or the ‘Ark of testimonies’ as it was also known, a chest that is believed to contain the original stones on which the 10 Commandments were engraved.
It is also claimed that they may have found part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
The Aqsa Mosque was commonly known as the Templum Solomonis from ancient times.
It was from the knights’ Templar association with this Temple that the Knights Templar eventually took their name which was a shortened version of Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici and meant “the poor fellow-soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon”!
For these reasons, they became widely known as the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar was a militaristic order of religious knights whose job was to serve and protect people of the Christian faith during their pilgrims to the Holy Land.
The Knights Templar had very strict codes of conduct that they had to obey such as vows made regarding chastity and poverty.
The order of the Knights Templar was founded in the year 1118 in Jerusalem to protect Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Lands.
The Knights Templar were highly trained, fearsome warriors who had no fear of death, they only feared God and were prepared to fight to the death in battle.
It was the Knights Templar who were the most feared of all, they were simply mentally and physically supremely prepared for battle and were only trained to fight.
The Knights Templar wore very distinctive clothing with white surcoats emblazoned with a red cross. The Knights Templar horses were also donned in the white and red of the Knights Templar, the Templar shield would be white with a Red Cross.
The Knights Hospitaller were another religious order, similar to the Knights Templar, however, the Knights Hospitaller as their name suggests looked after the sick and wounded, but they fought for their faith during the crusades as well.
The Knights Hospitaller were also known as the Knights of St John and would also fight for the Christian faith without hesitation. The Knights Hospitaller wore black full-length tunics over their chainmail with a white cross.
During the third Crusade another religious order of Knights was formed, these Knights originated from Germany and were called the Teutonic Knights.
The Teutonic knights were similar to the Hospitaller Knights as it was also their mission to care for Christians who were sick and injured and to fight for their faith.
The Teutonic knights wore full length white tunics with a black cross over their chainmail.
Even though the Knights Templar took vows of chastity and poverty, the religious order of the Knights Templar became incredibly wealthy during their conquests and travels.
It is believed that the Knights Templar also gained hidden knowledge and took treasures from the temple of Solomon.
It is claimed that the Knights Templar excavated tunnels underneath the Temple Mount and discovered hidden treasures and ancient knowledge.
In the future the Knights Templar were able to use their incredible wealth to build magnificent castles and buildings throughout Europe.
Templar knights were initially very successful in their battles against the Muslims in the Crusades and they managed to take back Jerusalem briefly after the first crusade.
However, the Templar knights suffered many setbacks mainly due to the legendary Muslim leader Saladin who eventually helped to drive out the Christians from the Holy Lands in 1291.
The Muslims joined forces instead of infighting and their combined armies continued to push back the Knights Templar and were able to take the important city of Acre in 1291 which brought to an end the Crusades and eventually led to the downfall of the Templar knights’ religious order altogether.
After the Templar knights were defeated during the crusades in 1291 they began to lose support from wealthy people throughout Europe who had previously backed them.
There were also many wealthy people throughout Europe who had given money to the Templar Knights and were indebted to them including the French King Philip IV.
At this time the French King accused the Templars’ leaders of following pagan beliefs and witchcraft and ordered their arrests!
This led to many members of the Knights Templar being burned at the stake and in 1312 the order of the Templar Knights was disbanded completely.
It is believed that Templar knights went into hiding after 1312 and infiltrated secret societies such as the Masons, there may be evidence to support this theory however this is not mainstream thinking.
It is also known that the Hospitaller Knights moved to Rhodes initially and then Malta in the Mediterranean where they continued to fight Muslims.
The Teutonic Knights who had German origins retreated back to Eastern Europe and were involved in further Crusades against the pagan religions.