Who were the Templars? The story of the most famous medieval war monks.

Who were the Templars

Who were the Templars?

Founded in 1118 by the Aristocrat Hugo of Payns, at the request of St. Bernard of Chiaravalle, at the end of the First Crusade, the Order of Templars was originally composed by 11 French Friars. Who, armed with swords, had the task of defending the pilgrims traveling along the sacred streets between Jaffa and Jerusalem, from the infidel’s.

The Order, which had its seat on the site believed to have arisen in ancient times, the Temple of Solomon, was recognized by the Church in 1129 and was subsequently granted great privileges.


The individual knights were lay. But they were bound by the vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty, the latter, which allowed the Order to accumulate immense wealth, also because he was in charge of money transfers to and from the Holy Land. Much of these riches were used in the construction of 9,000 churches, palaces, and fortified sites.

Templars lived under strict rules. They should observe frequent religious celebrations and fasting, give alms, eat food silently by listening to biblical reading, keeping short hair, beard and mustache. They wore white shirts with a red cross on their left shoulder and their great authority was the Great Master.

The influence of the Templars (in the year 1147 they was about 300, but soon became thousands) rapidly expanded all over Europe. Their wealth grew to dizzying rhythms (they were one step away from reshaping the Kingdom of Aragon in Spain).

The Order’s sunset began in 1307: accused of sodomy, betrayal, greed, and idolatry, hundreds of Templars were arrested, tortured and sentenced to punishment by the king of France Filippo il Bello, perhaps intimidated by their power, and in 1312 l ‘The Order was abolished by the Vienna Council.

Who were the Templars


The highly mystical character of the Order and the location of its headquarters in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, just at the point where Solomon’s temple stood, has flourished around the Templar legends that still find fierce supporters.

For example, they would have access to the Holy Grail or even the Ark of the Covenant, and this would give them the powers of an occult government above the other governments. Legends, but with some foundation of truth: according to the majority of historians, in fact, their wealth made them potent and excluded them from any control. In a century, like the 13th century, when the state sought to emancipate itself from the Church, the Templars were therefore a dangerous obstacle to suppress.


According to some, however, the Templars continued to thrive secretly for years, guardians of immense wealth. In fact, with the ad providam bubble of 2 May 1312, it was ordered that the Templar’s property be transferred to the Hospitallers.

Were they therefore enriched? Yes and no. If in France the avid King Philip claimed from the Knights of Malta, the “heirs” of the Templars, a heavy economic counterpart. According to some even higher than they had forfeited, also elsewhere in Europe, several crowned heads claimed portions of the temple heritage in their respective domains.

In Portugal, for example, the properties of the Templars ended up in the Order of Christ, created to fight the Dead, and their assets financed the upgrading of the naval fleet that two centuries later guaranteed the kingdom, lusitating a prominent role in the era of geographic discoveries.

Same thing happened in Spain, where another military union created to counter the Saracen threat, the military order of Our Lady of Montesa, will forfeit the goods of the Temple and part of its Knights.

In Germany, their possessions were scattered with the Teutonic Knights, while Oltremanica the properties of the Order of Malta. Formerly Templars or not were swept away in the sixteenth century by the confinements of Henry VIII followed by the schism from the Church of Rome. The same fate had with the Revolution the remaining properties in France.


The famous Warrior monks of the Middle Ages were characterized by an unusual longevity. Coming to live even twice as much as the life expectancy of the time. Their secret would be nutrition, based on a diet similar to the Mediterranean one. It is supported by a study by Francesco Franceschi, director of the emergency department of the Roma Gemini Clinic.

From the scholars’ papers, it emerged that in their daily lives the Templars followed strict rules (and this was known). Starting from the obligation to wash their hands before eating. To a detailed diet plan, which only made meat twice for weeks. Fish, fresh fruit, and olive oil abound on the table, but also seafood, with their omega-3 baggage.

Three plates of legumes were then provided each week. Water was always added with orange juice. The wine was granted, though rationed. It is accompanied by aloe pulp, planted with antiseptic and fungicidal virtues.



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