Skip to content

2.1 Introduction

The Templar was a true Catholic medieval order created in Jerusalem.

In 1099 the crusaders took back Jerusalem and the Holy Land of Palestine. The Moslems had conquered it 400 years before. They then lost it to the Turks. The pilgrimages never ended except when the Christians were cruelly persecuted. The number of pilgrims increased after 1099 but the journey was still very difficult and unsafe. Once they military duty done the crusaders went back to their country leaving the defence of the Holy Land in the hand of very few soldiers. In fact only the coast, some forts and castles were defended. The pilgrims were often attacked, robbed and killed. In 1118 or 1119, 8 or 9 knights led by Hugues de Payns and Godfrey de Saint-Omer travelled to Jerusalem. They formed a religious order called at first “Poor Knights of Christ”. These knights put their forces and their arms to the defence of the pilgrims. Later on their full name became the Knights of the Temple of Solomon. In a few years they became very powerful and rich. They created banks and made the roads safe. They were assumed to practise alchemy and were very secretive. In the 14th century they owned many properties in Europe and in the Middle east and Philip the Fair, king of France, envious of their wealth and power, decided to destroy them. They were accused of heresy, homosexuality and of spiting on the image of Jesus. They were also accused for not supporting Simon de Montfort in his crusade against the Cathars. It was impossible to prove the charge against them. On Friday the 13 October 1307 Philip the Fair had all the Templars in France arrested. Their Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burned on the stake seven years later. Some sources say that the treasure of Rennes-le-Chateau was in fact the Templar treasure hidden before the arrests. There are some similarities between the Cathars and the Templars but also a lot of differences. They existed at the same time. The Cathars were non violent and against material possession and Evil. The Templars, on the other hand, were a military fraternity not based on class, nation or religion but very much interested in power and in gathering wealth. Both the Cathars and the Templars are associated with a hidden treasure. They were violently repressed and destroyed. (e)