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The Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, known as the Knights Templar, Order of the Temple or simply Templars , was a Christian Military Order of Cavalry from the Middle Ages, founded in 1118 in Jerusalem to protect the holy places.
The order was founded after the First Crusade (1095), by Hugo de Payens, in 1118, with the support of eight other knights. The Templars had great power, both military and economic, causing envy among the leaders of that period.
The expansion of the Templars was rapid. As they won battles and the respect of the people, they gained property and land. In the two centuries in which they existed, they had 800 castles across Europe. Of these 800, 100 were in Spain. Today many of them have disappeared, but there are still some where we can imagine the Templars planning a new crusade.
One of them is the Castle of Peñíscola which was "operational" for the Templars between 1294 and 1307.
The success of the Templars was always linked to that of the Crusades. When the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order dwindled. Rumors about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created suspicion, and King Philip IV of France, “The Beautiful”, deeply indebted to the Order, began to pressure Pope Clement V to take action against them. On October 13, 1307, Pope Clement V ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar in France were arrested, and were subsequently publicly burned. On May 2, 1312, the same Pope dissolved the Order with the publication of the Bull Ad Providam, by which he granted the goods of the order to the Hospitallers, giving most of them to King Philip IV of France.
The sudden disappearance of most of the Templar Order's European infrastructure has given rise to speculation and legends that keep the Knights Templar's name and all the aura of secrecy alive to this day.