The Knights Templars military and religious order was founded in Jerusalem in 1120 and its first quarters adjoined a building at the time known as Solomons temple; hence its name. Its aim was to protect pilgrims and, above all, due to its military occupation, direct the anarchic Crusaders.
In 1129, the Knights Templars were officially recognized at the ecclesiastical Council of Troyes, their main protector being the influential Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Innocent II gave them papal bulls and the most important privileges and, in 1147, Eugene III allowed them to wear the distinctive dress of the Order, a white mantle with a red Latin cross.
Since the beginning, they were welcomed in the West, where they set up numerous commanderies to administrate the enormous benefits they received. Until their dissolution in 1314 by Clement V, the Templars created a structure of at least 870 castles, preceptories and subsidiary houses, some of which can still be found in most of the Christian countries of the West and the Near East.