What is your favorite fact about Knights Templar?
After Christian armies captured Jerusalem from Muslim control in 1099 during the Crusades, pilgrims from across Western Europe started visiting the Holy Land. However, many of them were robbed and killed as they crossed through Muslim-controlled territories during their journey.
Around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens created a military order and eight relatives and acquaintances, calling it the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon—later known simply as the Knights Templar.
With the support of Baldwin II, the ruler of Jerusalem, they set up headquarters on that city’s sacred Temple Mount, the source of their now-iconic name, and pledged to protect Christian visitors to Jerusalem.
Initially, the Knights Templar faced criticism from some religious leaders. But in 1129, the group received the formal endorsement of the Catholic Church and support from Bernard of Clairvaux, a prominent French abbot.
Bernard authored “In Praise of the New Knighthood,” a text that supported the Knights Templar and bolstered their growth.