THE KNIGHTS TEMPLARS' ORDER



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 Solomon’s 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.


The Knights Templars order settled in the Crown of Aragon in 1130. The Order was given benefits and privileges of all kinds. In order to exploit them, the territory was organized in three kinds of commanderies: rural, urban and military. The latter, for obvious reasons, existed only in the Holy Land and the Iberian Peninsula.

Our kings’ generous attitude and, mainly, the political skill of Raymond Berenguer IV, led to a Templar link in the Christian conquest. They contributed to the Ebro, Cinca, Segre, Majorca and Valencia great campaigns. The Templars were given large extensions of territory, which they defended, colonized and administrated from strategic fortresses, which became the headquarters of military commanderies.

When the Pope arranged for the arrest of the Knights Templars in 1307, he met a strong resistance in such fortresses, especially in Miravet, Castellote and Monzón, which were taken after a long siege.