10 Mysterious and Mystical Templar Castles, Churches, and Fortresses

10 Mysterious and Mystical Templar Castles, Churches, and Fortresses

The Knights Templar were an organization that fought for the word of God. However, as time went by, their ideals of being soldiers for Christ was not what they expected, nor did it satisfy them. Over time they evolved, and their small society gained presence, and decisions were made in the confines of fortifications all over the world.

The Templars erected many buildings in the west including preceptories, churches, and granges for administration purposes. They were simplistic and utilitarian in form with of course a few exceptions. There was no dictated form of Templar church architecture.

Over the years, misconceptions about the circular construction of temples in Paris have led people to believe that every circular building was constructed by the Templars. However, that was not the case.

Furthermore, the Templars did not the believe that money should be spent on elaborate church construction and ornate accessories. Furthermore, allowing the construction of overblown and over indulgent European castles would only be an economic liability.

There was one exception, that being the Iberian peninsula, where in Aragon and Portugal the Order was pledged to fight against the Moors, and needed castles just as it needed them in the Holy Land.

  1. Al-Aqsa Mosque

    Source

    In 1099, Jerusalem was captured by the crusaders and instead of the complete destruction of Solomons temple, it was turned into a royal palace for the crusaders. In 1119, the temple was turned into the main headquarters for the Knights Templar. Many renovations were made including new vaulted ceilings, and boundary walls around the interior worship areas to section off the rituals.

  2. Chastel Blanc

    Image via Wikipedia

    Image via Wikipedia

    In most cases, these structures were built both for the use of a chapel and a fortress. They were aligned with the sea and the lookout towers were constructed in a way that made their surrounding fortresses more visible in case of attacks. Chastal Blanc was situated in the Safita’s three hills and from the tower the Templars were able to view their strongholds at Tartus and Ruad Island to the northwest, Chastel Rouge to the southwest, Akkar to the south, and Krak des Chevaliers to the southeast.The bottom floor is an Orthodox chapel maintained for the worship of Saint Michael and by the residents of Safita. The upper floor was used as a dormitory and the angled windows for archers.

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MJ Sunderland, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Excellent and informative piece that was international in scope. Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for your recent comments on my work.

Kate Smedley, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

This is another fascinating and well written article on one of my favourite subjects!! I’m going to read it again later, thanks again Lauren.

ken bultman, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Both very interesting and educational. Glad I read it and enjoyed the pics.

CaSundara, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Another interesting and well-written article for me to show my son. Thanks for sharing!

Auron Renius, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Nice, hadn’t heard of most of these.

valli, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Interesting as well as educational.

Joe Dorish, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Cool stuff Lauren. Would like to visit all these places!

historigal, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

This is a worthwhile read. Amazing!

Amy Christine, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

A book you may be interested in concerning further research on the Knights Templar would be: The Real History Behind the Templars by Sharan Newman. I just finished reading it myself.

Francois Hagnere, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Brilliant, Lauren. I totally agree with you that not every circular chapel should be attributed to the Knights Templar (Please check out my: “The Knights Templar Fabulous Chapel in Cressac”). I also very much appreciate that you talk about such an important place as Tomar in the history of the Order.
Thank you my friend,
Very best wishes always,
François

Chris Stonecipher, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Lauren,
Your articles always captivates me. This is interesting, well researched and informative as always.
Bless you,
Chris

Chris Stonecipher, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

I will add this to reddit.

chris73, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Thanks for the interesting time i spent by reading your article.

NickFord, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Top quality

WriteEditSeek, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Very cool article with lots of interesting pictures. Now I’m curious to learn more about the Knights Templar. Doesn’t the Da Vinci Code involve the Knights Templar? It seems that was the first place I came across the name.

Valerie Piotrowski, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Well writtten and researched article.

Lauren Axelrod, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

@Amy I have about 10 books I’m reading about them and it’s really amazing how different the perspectives are.

@Chris S It’s seems as though all my recent pieces are about Archaeology. Go figure. lol

@Valerie Thanks for the compliment

@WriteEditSeek Yes, the Da Vinci code did include the Templar Knights. I believe at the end of the movie, the chapel or fort was a meeting place.

@Francois I will definitely check out that article. The Templars are the theme at Ancient Digger this week, so I will surely include it in the Monday Ground Up.

@Nick Thanks for the comment. Love your topics by the way

@CaSundra I’m so glad you and your son are enjoying my articles.

@Ferdine Your most welcome

@Ken I am always trying to share educational pieces. My goal to teach everyone something new every time.

@Kate Thanks so much and I will be reading a bit more today. I need a break from writing

@Chris73 Thanks for the comment

Unofre Pili, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

Thanks for the nice info Lauren.

papaleng, posted this comment on Aug 27th, 2009

great pictures and interesting facts, some are hew to me.

Lostash, posted this comment on Aug 28th, 2009

Tomar looks wonderful to me. Great article Lauren.

Janet Meyer, posted this comment on Aug 30th, 2009

Hi Lauren,

What a great article, and the pics are spectacular. I enjoy looking at the pics and reading about them.

Purnomosidhi, posted this comment on Sep 2nd, 2009

You write interesting information with amazing pictures.

Melody SJAL, posted this comment on Sep 2nd, 2009

Very intriguing structures.

Jane Jane, posted this comment on Sep 5th, 2009

informative and nice photos.. liked it..=)

Duff D Moss, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

The Knight Templar – a fascinating subject, and a worthy article. A great read.

David Crerand, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

Excellent, informative and captivating and the pictures are great too!

Tlchimes, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

All around a great read. I love old structures so this was that much more of a treasure.

Annie Hintsala, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

Facinating subject matter. I love reading about the templers and the Hospitilars. Great story stuff there, and fabulous pictures, as always.

BradONeill, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

Great Article Lauren. It was really cool looking at those pictures. I would love to tour those sites someday.

Used to be Shelly, posted this comment on Sep 8th, 2009

I love it. Very interesting.

oldster, posted this comment on Sep 9th, 2009

Interesting–Despite not being my cup of tea.
Well Done Lauren.
I have my own ancient structure.

Rod Ferrandino, posted this comment on Sep 10th, 2009

good balance of text and illustration, and, as a history/journalism grad, I appreciate the research.

STEVE666, posted this comment on Sep 10th, 2009

A brilliantly well produced article.

Lauren Axelrod, posted this comment on Sep 10th, 2009

Thanks for the compliments everyone. @Rod, I am an Archaeology major so researching this was a thrill.

Theresa Johnson, posted this comment on Sep 12th, 2009

wonderful piece and beautiful choices for castles

Peter Cimino, posted this comment on Sep 14th, 2009

Wow…another truly amazing piece. You for sure know your stuff!

Jessica Rowe, posted this comment on Sep 17th, 2009

Awesome piece and loads of info and great pictures. You did a great job and I learned some new stuff. :)

Patrick Bernauw, posted this comment on Oct 17th, 2009

Why didn’t I comment on this one? The Templars… that’s my Thing! Great article, Lauren! Going to blog it!

Jones Esp, posted this comment on Nov 22nd, 2009

Krak de Chevalier is a Hospitaller Castle, not Templar, or ?.

Lauren Axelrod, posted this comment on Nov 22nd, 2009

In 1142 it was given by Raymond II, count of Tripoli, to the Hospitallers, contemporaries of the Knights Templar.” Both groups were formed around 1119 and had the same vision and focus. However, oddly enough, they still exercised animosity towards one another. The Krak was added because of the connection of the Templars. Interestingly enough, if we look into the subject of the resurrection, Rosslyn Chapel, Bernard de Fontaines, Hugh de Payne, etc, you would see that a connection does exist.

Therefore, the fortress doesn’t exactly stand for one society, as many were interconnected under the radar. Conspiracy maybe, but it’s also my subject for some of my thesis work,

RS Wing, posted this comment on Jan 27th, 2010

You cover a lot of history here regarding the Knights of Templar, a fascinating and mysterious subject. My favorite castle pictures are Krak des Chevaliers, Chatel Rouge, The Sidon Sea Castle, and Bagras is really cool. The spiritual energy within these castles and surrounding terrains must be intense to say the least. Great historical journalism!

Lauren Axelrod, posted this comment on Jan 27th, 2010

Thanks so much everyone for the kind comments. This subject is an enormous part of my major, so I love digging into the history.

Francois Hagnere, posted this comment on May 27th, 2010

Revisited your so interesting article Lauren. I so much agree with my friend Richard RS Wing, the spiritual energy in these fortresses and castles is extremely intense. Even on the photos. I am lucky enough to live in France and learn and visit a lot about the Knights Templar. Great job Lauren and good luck for your major.
Cheers, François

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