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.
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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.
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.