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Templar treasures

By Inese Timuka . 09.11.2009

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  The Knights Templar, legendary soldier monks and warriors of god of the Middle Ages, called themselves the poor knights of Christ. But they became one of the richest organizations in Europe. Yet they quickly vanished from history as quickly as they arrived, leaving behind a beguiling mystery.

Just who were the Knights Templar? A heroic brotherhood of treasure hunters or, as some say, the keepers of secret knowledge. The knights themselves left many clues passed down from generation to generation, hidden in ancient manuscripts and scratched on the stone walls of their prisons. These were secrets waiting to be discovered by those adept enough at cracking the Templar code.

Where did they come from?


It was during the Crusades that the story of the Knights Templar began. In 1095 AD, an army of European knights marched thousands of miles to the region they called the Holy Land to “liberate” the Christians’ most sacred city, Jerusalem, a city that had been controlled by Muslims since the 7th century.

It took the Crusaders around three years to reach it, and in July 1099 they took the city. It was a bloodbath. The Crusaders killed everybody they saw – Christians, Muslims and Jews. Much blood was spilled in the name of God.With Jerusalem firmly back in Christian hands, pilgrims from Europe traveled there in great numbers. But such journeys were far from safe.

In 1118, King Baldwin the second of Jerusalem received an offer of help from a Crusader knight, Hugo de Panes, a French nobleman from the Champagne region, who offered a contingent of fighting monks whose responsibility it was to guard the Holy Land and safeguard pilgrims on their way there from Europe. The Order of Templars was born. From modest beginnings of just nine family members of de Pane family, the Knights Templar membership soon reached into the thousands.

The mystery begins…


The Knights Templar were not only warriors but also monks. Europe has never seen such a force, which at that time was unique as they were fighting in the name of God. They prayed a lot, and trained a great deal too.

The Templars’ symbol of a red cross stood for martyrdom – death in battle was glorious. But still, how could the original grouping of only nine knights ensure the protection of hundreds of pilgrims? Was the protection of travelers their real purpose, or was their mission in the east to investigate legends about hidden treasure in Jerusalem?

Unquestionably, they became incredibly powerful and carried an aura of mystique that emanated right from their headquarters. In Jerusalem, King Baldwin gave the knights one of Christendom’s holiest places – the sight of the ancient Jewish temple itself. Jesus himself was said to have once preached there.

The place is holy for three religions. According to Islamic tradition, the rock is the spot from which Muhammad ascended to Heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. For Jews, it is the place where Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac. But for Christians, it is the very spot where Christ was crucified.

And this was the place that the Knights Templar occupied for the next 75 years before their triumphant return to the west. It is believed that they dug underneath the temple for nine years, and modern historians confirm that tunnels have been found.

Speculation continues as to what the Templars found there. Undeniably, it was something that reshaped their destiny. According to one theory it was a glorified treasure map, scrolls that carried detailed descriptions of the locations of hidden treasures. The legend says that thanks to the scrolls beneath the ancient temple the knights made one of the most remarkable discoveries of all time – that of legendary religious relics.

Treasure of powerful knowledge


No one knows exactly what the relics actually were, but some say they constituted a powerful knowledge of the world. Others claim they included a piece of the real Cross.

But the most common and widely held legend says that what they actually found was massive amounts of gold and silver bullion as well as the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, a box-shaped container that held the stone tablets inscribed with the 10 commandments that Moses received from God on Mount Sinai.

These were religious artifacts sacred to both Judaism and Christianity, as well as documents that may be as explosive now as they were when they were buried. The value of the potential treasure could have been over a billion dollars.

Legends differ about the Holy Grail, but it is commonly thought to be the chalice which Jesus and his apostles drank from at the Last Supper before he was crucified. Frankly, this is all a matter of speculation. But what is true is that after they found the treasure all nine of the founding knights of the Templar sped back to Europe.

 

Golden times of the knights


When they reached Europe in 1128, the Knights Templar became very powerful and extremely wealthy within a short period of time. Pope Honorius II sanctioned them as an Order in the same year, and his successor Pope Innocent II granted them special privileges through the papal bull Omni Datum Optimum. They enjoyed immunity from the laws, regulations and taxes of every nation.

Evidence of their financial independence can be seen even now. The knights were often engaged in the construction of many of the major Gothic cathedrals of the 12th and 13th centuries. Believe it or not, they were also Christendom’s first bankers and invented the modern banking system that is still in use today, from the use of checks to lending money to governments, among other things.

They were untouchable, because they were answerable only to the Pope; they couldn't be taxed for property, had diplomatic immunity and could not be brought on charges of any kind.

 

Tragic Friday 13th


Seemingly untouchable for nearly two centuries, the Knights Templar fell from grace spectacularly after the loss of the Holy Land.
On Friday October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered Jacques de Molay, the order’s last Grand Master, and scores of other French Templars to be arrested simultaneously.

Legend says that the reason for this was that France owed so much money to the Templars that it was convenient to simply destroy the order. All of the Templars in France were arrested on charges of heresy, homosexuality, denial of the cross, and devil worship.
The Templars were tortured in numerous ways to extract false confessions of blasphemy, which, though obtained under duress, caused a scandal in Paris. But de Molay refused to disclose the location of the order’s funds.

After more bullying from King Philip, Pope Clement then issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae on November 22, 1307, which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all of the Templars and seize their assets.
De Molay was burned alongside Guy de Auvergne, the Preceptor of Normandy, on March 18, 1314. There are many accounts of his dying words, but he cursed both King Philip and Pope Clement, summoning both of them to appear before God, the supreme judge, before the year was out.

His last words were, “Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us – God will avenge us.” The irony is that his final words in fact came true. Pope Clement V died only a month later, suspected of having cancer of the bowel, and King Philip IV was killed while on a hunting trip before the year was out.

Interestingly, both the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians are of Templar descent and closely linked. The Rosicrucians and Masons are two secret societies with one common philosophy and purpose, as is reflected in their symbols-rose and cross-within the Masonic set-square. The sword, an indispensable symbol for the Templars, is also an irreplaceable accessory in the Masonic lodges. Since Masonry is the continuation of the Order of Knights Templar, the Templars' teachings derived from Cabalist-Jewish faith and rituals live on in Masonry. The Jewish shofar, or calling horn, is also used in the Masonic lodges. The Templars never ceased to exist. Instead, they infiltrated the lodges of Masons, founded the Rosicrucians, organized and strengthened the order, and turned it into an effective tool. The Templars are not a branch or aspect of Masonry. Nor, as the Masons claim, are they "a little influenced by them." Masonry, along with its symbols, history and ideals, has become a den for the Templars, albeit under a different name.

 

Paths of treasure


The Order of the Knights Templar was the richest organization of the time, as it didn’t pay taxes, was good at business and had plenty of partners. It even owned its own fleet of ships and operated a trade root, carrying goods and passengers between east and west. The order owned land, mills and farms.
The treasures that King Philip had seen with his own eyes at Templars’ homes vanished after the executions, nobody knows where.
It has been suggested that two great carts of treasure were taken out of Paris immediately before the final arrests on Friday 13th. And from that point on, the knights as well as their treasure have fallen off the records. Their exact destination is unknown, and clues and directions are few.
It is obvious how wealthy the Knights Templar were as their symbols can be seen throughout Europe. Whenever you see their name or symbol – that’s a glimpse of where they once existed.
The order held two kinds of treasures – the earthly, such as the gold and jewels they secured, and the treasures they found under Jerusalem. But nothing much was found at their former homes.

The answer could lie with the group who survived; historians believe there were thousands of them. Unfortunately, all of the written records of their existence were burned.

 

Where did they go?


Documentation from 1307 indicates that the Templars had their own ships, used for trade purposes as well as for traveling from the West to the Holy Land. One account from October 12th reports the presence 18 Templar ships anchored in the port of La Rochelle in Western France. The next day they were gone.

It is still a secret what the ships carried and where they went. One possible escape route was to the north, to Scotland, but there are other versions that they could possibly have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America, which Vikings had reached on various expeditions 500 years before Columbus.

According to yet another version, the ships carrying the treasure of the Templars went northeast to the Baltic Sea and landed on the shores of present-day Latvia.

giorgio 13.11.2010 00:26

fantasy

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Aly Chiman 12.03.2019 05:46

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