The street hummed with tourists, students and lawyers

The hidden world of the Knights Templar

It was rush hour on a weekday and I was weaving Canada Goose Outlet my way down the Strand, one of central London most famous thoroughfares. The street hummed with tourists, students and lawyers. Double decker buses rattled. Cyclists sweated. Black cabs swerved.

View image of Stone archway to Temple (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

Just east of the where the Strand turns into Fleet Street, beyond the 19th century legal bookshop of Wildy and Sons, stood a small stone archway. Compared to the imposing structure above it a timber framed, Jacobean townhouse it was almost unnoticeable. I turned in.

Here, on tiny Inner Temple Lane, was a hidden world, one that was lovely, leafy and serene, overlooked buy canada goose jacket by graceful Gothic and Victorian buildings and patchworked with gardens and miniature courtyards.

View image of Courtyards and gardens (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

The area, known as Temple, Canada Goose sale remains far less known to tourists than other nearby attractions like St Paul Cathedral or Trafalgar Square. And most of those who do find their way here don realise Temple biggest secret: this whole area was once the stronghold of the Knights Templar.

The medieval order, known for their canada goose coats role in the Crusades and as one of the Middle Ages most powerful and wealthy religious orders, lived, prayed and worked here from about 1185 up until their dissolution in 1312.

They built Canada Goose Online monastic dormitories, chambers and two dining halls now canada goose replica known as Middle Temple canada goose clearance sale Hall and Inner Temple Hall, though they been rebuilt many times over the years and, most famously, Temple Church.

View image of Temple Church entrance (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

lived right here, said Robin Griffith Jones, the reverend of canada goose clearance Temple Church and a historian of the Knights Templar. (In a sign of how historic and traditional this area is, his official title is Reverend and Valiant Master of the Temple). hall of the Templars was what is Inner Temple hall now right over there. And the priest house was where my house is. But even while the holy city was safe, the pilgrimage routes to get there were not. Travellers were routinely attacked, robbed and even killed.

A handful of knights took monastic canada goose vows and devoted themselves to protecting the pilgrims and their routes. In canada goose outlet store locations return, the king canada goose deals of Jerusalem gave them headquarters on the Temple Mount. The Knights Templar was born and they were soon world renowned for their courage.

were cheap Canada Goose a very disciplined fighting force and hugely self Canada Goose Coats On Sale sacrificial. If there was a disaster in battle, they were decimated. They didn run away. They just got killed, said Griffith Jones.

They also became extraordinarily rich. As well as canadian goose jacket owning land and other assets, they didn have to pay tithes. They were also the first canada goose store to issue what today we would call cheques. If a pilgrim was leaving home, they could give the Canada Goose Jackets Templars all the money they canada goose clearance want in the Holy Land, get a promissory note in return and collect that amount when they arrived. By 1191, they were so wealthy they were able to buy the island of Cyprus.

View image of Round nave of Temple Church (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

Little surprise then that by the mid 12th Century they needed a grander headquarters for their London chapter. By 1185, they had built Temple Church.

Today Temple Church doesn seem that grand, particularly when compared to nearby St Paul or Westminster Abbey. The surrounding buildings dwarf it, making its dome invisible from just a short distance. The circular nave in the west, which was built first, is just 17m in diameter. There is no elaborate gold gilding, no side chapels, no mosaic or paintings.

View image of The original stone entrance of Temple Church (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

But as a round church modelled after the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (there are only three others in Britain), Temple Church had one of the grandest claims of them all: to those in the Middle Ages, walking through it was the closest you could get to Jerusalem without actually undertaking the dangerous pilgrimage to get there.

View image of Ceiling of the Canada Goose online round nave (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

Inside, the canada goose black friday sale round nave has the fortress like walls, buy canada goose jacket cheap small windows and heavy, pointed arches of the early Gothic. Effigies of some of the knights including William Marshal of Pembroke, without whom England Magna Carta may not exist lie grasping their canada goose outlet toronto factory swords in the stone.

The chancel, built 65 years later, extended the church east, this time with all the hallmarks of the fully flowered Gothic style: thin, graceful columns, wide span arches and huge windows that flooded the interior with light.

In the time of the Knights Templar, the painted walls and metal plated ceiling would have shimmered in the candlelight. The floor was tiled. There were probably banners down the columns. And the windows, now mostly plain, may have been made of stained glass.

View image of The new chancel (Credit: Credit: Amanda Ruggeri)

It was in that lovely, light filled environment that the English order of the Knights Templar would meet and worship. It was also here that they canada goose coats on sale would be initiated into the order. According to charges levied against them in 1307, when King Philip IV ordered the arrest of the Templars in France, the initiation rites included spitting on the cross, denying Christ, and kissing each other on the mouth, belly button and base of the spine.

By that point, the knights were no longer needed 2018 canada goose outlet as crusaders. Their military stronghold of Acre, in present day Israel, had fallen in 1291. The knights were still engaging in smaller scale raids, but the Crusades had effectively ended and, for the Church, had not ended well.

As well as no longer having any military purpose, the Knights Templars wealth had made them potential enemies of some powerful people including King Philip IV, who owed them a vast sum of money.

The charges of devil worship in their initiation rites quickly followed. Scores of knights were arrested on Friday 13 October 1307, Canada Goose Parka and those who wouldn confess were burned at the stake. The rest scattered. In 1312, the order was dissolved.

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