What Is the Templar Secret?

What Is the Templar Secret?

There are few organizations in history that invoke such a sense of mystery and intrigue as the Knights Templar. A medieval military order that existed between the 12th and 14th centuries, the Templars continued to be a source of speculation and fascination even more than 700 years after their dissolution. Central to this fascination is the elusive “Templar Secret” – a mysterious knowledge or artifact presumed to be of great value, which the Templars supposedly guarded.

This article explores the alleged Templar Secret, its history, and its possible implications. It dives into the lore of this clandestine order to analyze what the secret could be, using historical records, popular theories, and interpretations by historians.

The Origins of the Templars

The Knights Templar was founded in 1119 to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land during the Crusades. They were recognized by the Catholic Church in 1129 and quickly rose in prominence due to their strict code of conduct and reputation for courage in battle. The Templars amassed considerable wealth through donations, banking, and land ownership.

However, their downfall came swiftly. Accused of heresy, blasphemy, and various other crimes, the Templars were disbanded by Pope Clement V under pressure from the French king, Philip IV, in 1312. Their property was confiscated, and many Templars were executed.

Their rapid rise and fall and their secretive nature have led to numerous speculations about the Templars’ hidden knowledge or treasures.

Theories Regarding the Templar Secret

The Holy Grail

One of the most enduring theories regarding the Templar Secret is the possession of the Holy Grail, the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Legend states that the Grail possesses miraculous powers and could grant eternal youth or happiness.

Some theories suggest that the Templars discovered the Grail during their occupation of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They purportedly hid it and swore to protect its location. While romantic and popularized in fiction, little historical evidence supports this claim.

The Ark of the Covenant

Another artifact associated with the Templar Secret is the Ark of the Covenant, described in the Bible as a gold-covered wooden chest containing the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Similar to the Holy Grail theory, proponents suggest that the Templars found the Ark during their time in the Holy Land and have hidden it. The Ark’s significance to the Jewish faith and its purported supernatural powers make it a fascinating possibility for the Templar Secret, albeit with similar limitations in verifiable historical support.

Knowledge and Documents

Some theories propose that the Templar Secret is not a physical object but valuable knowledge or documents. This could range from religious texts, secret gospels, or even documents that could potentially harm the Catholic Church or powerful monarchies of the time.

While this theory might be less glamorous than hidden artifacts, it’s worth noting that information was a form of power during the Middle Ages. With their far-reaching influence and contacts, the Templars could have had access to a wide range of documents and knowledge.

The Impact of the Templar Secret on Modern Society

Despite the lack of concrete evidence, the idea of a Templar Secret continues to captivate the modern imagination. It has influenced literature, movies, and video games, spurring real-life treasure hunts. Works like “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, the “Indiana Jones” franchise, and the “Assassin’s Creed” series all draw upon the mythology of the Templar Secret.

Decoding Templar Symbols and Codes

The Knights Templar, renowned for their military prowess and financial acumen, were also known for their clandestine activities and use of symbolic language. While this served practical purposes—such as recognition among members and secure communication—it also added a layer of intrigue to the Templar Secret, suggesting that clues may be hidden within these cryptic symbols and codes.

One of the most recognizable Templar symbols is the “Beauceant,” their battle flag, consisting of a black section above a white one. The black was said to symbolize the worldly life they left behind, while the white signified the purity and spiritual life they strived for as Templars.

Another common Templar emblem is two knights riding a single horse, symbolizing the order’s vows of poverty and brotherhood. Some also interpret this as a nod to the Templars’ origins, when they were poor and could only afford one horse for every two knights.

The Templars also employed intricate architectural symbols, often embedded in their buildings’ designs. One example is the octagonal shape frequently found in Templar churches, such as the Temple Church in London. This eight-sided design has been linked to the eight beatitudes in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, symbolizing a path to spiritual enlightenment.

In terms of coded language, the Templars used a cipher system known as the Caesar cipher, where each letter in the text is ‘shifted’ a certain number of places down or up the alphabet. This allowed them to communicate securely and perhaps conceal their secrets.

Yet, interpreting these symbols and codes is challenging and often leads to subjective and speculative outcomes. Many symbols have multiple interpretations, influenced by context, cultural variations, and time periods. Decoding the Templars’ symbolic language can offer fascinating insights into their beliefs, values, and potential secrets. Whether these symbols and codes hold the key to the elusive Templar Secret remains a compelling and unresolved question. 

Secret Sites for Knights Templar

The Knights Templar, known for their wealth, power, and mystery, had numerous secret sites throughout Europe and the Middle East. These sites, be they majestic temples, secluded preceptories, or fortified castles, played a significant role in Templar mythology and the supposed hiding of the Templar Secret.

Temple Mount, Jerusalem

Undoubtedly one of the most significant sites for the Templars was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. After their foundation in 1119, the Templars were given a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace on the Mount, known as Solomon’s Temple. The location was thought to be ripe with hidden treasures and secrets from biblical times, contributing to theories about the Templar Secret.

Temple Church, London

Built in the late 12th century, the Temple Church in London served as the Templars’ English headquarters. Its unusual, circular design, influenced by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, sets it apart. Its crypt, in particular, is a source of speculation for secret Templar activities.

Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

Constructed in the 15th century, long after some believe the dissolution of the Templars, Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland has Templar connections. The chapel’s intricate carvings and cryptic symbolism have led some to suggest it was built by the Templars or their successors to hide a secret treasure or relic.

Tomar, Portugal

The Convent of Christ in Tomar was once the stronghold of the Knights Templar in Portugal. Its unique architecture, including the enigmatic Charola and the Manueline window, feeds into theories about secret Templar rituals and treasures.

While these secret sites are a testament to the power and reach of the Templars, they also contribute to the enduring fascination with the Templar Secret. Each location, steeped in history and mystery, is a captivating puzzle piece in the grand tapestry of Templar lore.

Freemasonry and the Templar Connection

A fascinating facet of the enigmatic Templar legacy lies in its supposed connection with Freemasonry, an equally mysterious fraternal organization. Established centuries after the Templars’ dissolution, Freemasonry is often associated with medieval knights, largely due to shared symbols, rituals, and lore.

It’s important to note that the earliest recorded Masonic lodges appeared in the late 16th and early 17th centuries—over 300 years after the last recognized Templar was burnt at the stake. However, speculative links between the two organizations gained traction during the 18th century, particularly with the emergence of the “Scottish Rite” of Freemasonry. This branch introduced a degree system incorporating medieval knightly symbolism, including a level titled “Knight Templar.”

The symbolic parallels between Freemasonry and the Knights Templar have led some to suggest that the Masons could be the spiritual or organizational successors of the Templars. Some theories even propose that surviving Templars formed the beginnings of Freemasonry, serving as a secretive avenue to preserve and pass down Templar knowledge, rituals, and perhaps the much-debated Templar Secret.

One of the most significant symbols used by both the Templars and Freemasons is the ‘square and compass.’ For Freemasons, this emblem represents virtue, morality, and the guiding principles of their craft. The Templars, being stonemason warriors, likely used similar tools in their architectural endeavors, leading some to suggest a symbolic lineage.

Yet, despite these compelling links, concrete evidence of a direct connection between the Templars and Freemasons remains elusive. Many historians and Masonic scholars argue that the Templar-Masonic connection is more a product of romantic speculation than factual history.

Nonetheless, the idea of a Templar-Freemason link adds another layer of intrigue to the mystery surrounding the Templars and their secrets. It illustrates the lasting impact of the Templars, whose influence appears to echo through history in unexpected and intriguing ways.

The Templar Secret in Popular Culture

The enigmatic Templar Secret has significantly impacted popular culture, infusing intrigue and mystery into novels, films, video games, and television series. This cryptic treasure or knowledge, guarded by the formidable medieval knights, provides an irresistible plot device, bridging the gap between historical reality and imaginative fiction.

Perhaps the most famous depiction of the Templar Secret in literature is Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, “The Da Vinci Code.” The book explores the idea of the Templars as guardians of the Holy Grail, which is presented not as a physical artifact but as a secret concerning the bloodline of Jesus Christ. This narrative reflects a popular theory about the Templar Secret and helped elevate Templar lore to a broader audience.

In cinema, the “Indiana Jones” franchise references the Templar Secret in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” where the Holy Grail is the ultimate prize, protected by a knightly order bearing many similarities to the Templars.

Video games, too, have embraced the Templar mythology. “Assassin’s Creed,” a popular game series, features Templars as the main antagonists, guarding powerful artifacts and knowledge that can control human free will. The narrative hints at Templar secrets influencing pivotal historical events.

While not always historically accurate, these cultural depictions have contributed to the enduring fascination with the Templar Secret. They serve as a testament to the power of this historical mystery, demonstrating how the legacy of the Templars—embodied in their supposed secret—continues to captivate and inspire storytelling in the modern age.

Conclusion: The Unresolved Mystery

The Templar Secret remains one of history’s enduring mysteries. The truth remains elusive, whether it’s the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, hidden knowledge, or something else entirely.

Still, the speculation surrounding the Templar Secret does more than just fuel pop culture narratives—it invites a deeper exploration of medieval history, religion, and power dynamics. The Templar Secret, whatever it may be, continues to be a symbol of the unknown and the power of historical intrigue. Despite centuries of investigation and debate, the truth of the Templar Secret lies buried in the past, waiting for the day it may be unearthed.