Created in 1118 DC, in the city of Jerusalem by French knights, the Knights Templar became in the following centuries, an influential political, military and economic institution. Initially its functions were limited to Christian territories conquered in the Holy Land during the Crusades. However, In the following decades, the Order started benefiting from countless land donations in Europe, which allowed them to establish a web of influence in the continent.
At the time of the first Crusade, with Jerusalem’s constant expansion and the beginning of a Christian kingdom, nine Knights asked for permission to remain in the city to protect pilgrims who were coming to the Holy Land. These knights were living in stables near the old Temple of Solomon, in Jerusalem, where they took vows of poverty and designed a new official symbol to represent them. As a result of their humbleness, vows of poverty and faith in Jesus Christ, the name of the Order was also known as: The Poor Knights of Christ from the Temple of Solomon or simply as Knights Templar.
According to legends, for the first nine years of its existence, the Order’s activities were limited to excavating and exploring under their quarters. And in these tunnels, they found documents and treasures. It’s important to point out that the Temple of Solomon was considered to be a holy place for the Jews and that it was richly decorated. Before the second temple had been destroyed by the Romans in response to a Jew insurrection against the power of Rome, the priests supposedly buried great part of the treasure as a way to prevent them from being taken away by the legions.
History also mentions the guardianship of the Holy Grail, the cup that is believed to have been used by Joseph to retain Jesus Christ’s blood as He hung on the cross.
Thanks to the persistence of those who defended Christianity, to the heroism and the courage held in countless battles, and due to the absolutely correct behavior adopted, the places the Knights Templar guarded and patrolled became extremely safe and any territory protected by the Order’s cross was considered an oasis. A place protected by the Lord.
Such was the confidence they inspired, that soon their quarters started conducting the first known systems of credit to date, still informal, between the XII and the XIII centuries as well as doing massive charity works. This is the explanation behind the legend of the fabulous wealth and influence of the Knights Templar.
Recklessly braves and holders of notable knowledge, influence and moral values, they became target of one of the worsts acts of betrayal ever registered in history. King Philip “the Fair” IV, King of France, who, moved by greed, the great debt he had in consequence of the endless wars with neighboring countries and the fear he had of the Knights Templar´s influence, decided to steal the vast wealth of the Order. Due to the secretive nature of the Order’s congregations, the Knights Templar were accused of possessing an evil form of esotericism; a great number of Templars were victim of defamation, plundered, sacrificed, forced into giving false confessions, burned alive and other horrendous atrocities.
The surviving Templar Knights escaped to Scotland, England and Portugal, where they joined Masonry.
Today, Templars are spread out all over the world dedicating to welfare, moral of the civilization and progress of mankind.
As an ecumenical organization, the Order does not discriminate race, creed, nationality, religion or lineage. We respect the laws and traditions of people in different countries.