Vitezovi templari, poznati i pod imenom „Siromašni vitezovi Krista i Salomonova hrama“, bili su katolički vojni red osnovan u 12. stoljeću s primarnim ciljem zaštite europskih hodočasnika na putu u Svetu zemlju gdje su bili izloženi pljačkama i ubojstvima. Red je osnovao francuski plemić Hughues de Payens, a Crkva ga je službeno priznala 1128. godine. Red je imao podršku mnogih duhovnih i svjetovnih vladara, a papinom bulom bili su oslobođeni plaćanja poreza te odgovarali samo papi. Organizaciju reda određivalo je Koncilsko pravo. Veliki meštar bio je nadređen svim članovima Reda. Vitezovi su bili najvažniji članovi Reda budući da je njegov glavni cilj bila obrana kršćanskih uporišta i vjernika u Svetoj zemlji, a bili su plemićkog podrijetla te jedini članovima kojima je bilo dozvoljeno nositi bijelu tuniku s crvenim križem. Pravila Reda formirana su prema Latinskom pravilniku. Templari su se zakleli na siromaštvo, čednost i poslušnost. Morali su se pridržavati strogih pravila koja su se odnosila na svaki aspekt njihova života; molitvu, jelo, odijevanje, borbu itd. Idealni templar bio je onaj koji je uspio povezati svoje ratničke sposobnosti s dubokim vjerskim osjećajem.Templari su bili jedna od najsposobnijih borbenih jedinica tijekom križarskih ratova. Njihovoj hrabrosti i disciplini divila se Europa, ali i muslimani. Iako su doživjeli mnogo poraza te izgubili križarske ratove, templari će ostati zapamćeni kao jedan od najboljih vojnih odreda u povijesti. Njihove diplomatske vještine omogućile su im sklapanje saveza sa neprijateljima, poput asasina. Iako su se zakleli na siromaštvo, templari su stekli značajne količine bogatstva, ponajviše preko posjeda koje su dobijali od Crkve i plemićkih obitelji. Bili su i utemeljitelji bankarstva što je omogućilo hodočasnicima siguran prijenos novca. Financijska moć Reda omogućila im je posudbu novca europskim vladarima, pa čak i samom papi. Francuski kralj Filip IV. dugovao je templarima veću količinu novca zbog čega je ugušio Red uz pomoć inkvizicije i pape Klementa V. Templari su bili optuženi za herezu, štovanje vraga, tajne obrede i idolopoklonstvo. Članovi Reda bili su uhićeni, mučeni, a Veliki meštar i nekolicina templara spaljeni živi na lomači 1314.Tajanstvena aura koja se stvorila oko templarskog reda, utrla je put mnogim legendama povezanim s njihovim djelovanjem poput legende o Svetom gralu ili povezanosti sa okultnim društvima.
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The knights Templar, also known as „The poor-fellow soldiers of Christ and of the temple of Solomon“ were a Catholic military order founded in 12th century with the primary mission of protecting european travelers and pilgrims on their way to Holy land where they were constantly exposed to robberies and murders. The order was founded by a french nobleman knight Hughues de Payens and recognized by the Church in 1128. They were supported by many secular and religious leaders and the papal bull made templars exempt from paying taxes and independent of any authority except the Pope's. The organizational structure of the order was formed after the Council Rule. All of the members were subject to the Grand master who oversaw military actions and finance. Knights were the most importatnt members of the Order since its primary aim was armed defense of christian strongholds and believers. They were usually descendants from higher-class families and they were the only members allowed to wear white robes with a red cross. The clerics were in charge of spiritual needs and religious duties. The majority of members were sergeants form lower social classes who contributed to the Order by producing goods, cooking, fighting alongside knights etc. The rule of the order was formed after the Benedictine Rule. The Knights Templar swore an oath of poverty, chastity and obedience. They had to follow strict rules applied to every aspect of their lives; praying, eating, wearing, possessions etc. The ideal Templar was the one who managed to intertwine his fighting abilities and knighthood with a strongly expressed religious sense. The Templars were one of the most capable fighting units during Crusades. Their fighting ablities and courage were praised across Europe, as well as among muslim armies. Despite numerous defeats they experienced and although Christians lost this holy war eventually, the Order will be remembered as one of the most skilled warriors in history. Their excellence in diplomacy allowed them to make unions with enemy forces, such as the Order of Assasins.Although they took a vow of poverty, Templars gained significant amounts of wealth, through lands and property given by the Church and nobles families. They also founded the system of banking, allowing pilgrims to safely withdraw their money in Holy land once they deposited it in Europe. The Order was so financially powerful that they lent money to european leaders, kings and even the Pope. When the French king Philip IV. asked Templars for financial help, he eventually owed them significant amount of money which brought him to decision of supressing the Order with the help of Pope Clement V. and inquisition. The Templars were falsely accused of practicing idolatry, worshipping devil, holding secret rituals and heresy. Although the Pope himself wanted to help Templars, he was powerless to take action against secular authorities. The order was hunted down, tortured killed and in 1314. The Grand master, along with other Templars, was burned at stake alive. The mysterious aura that surrounded Knights Templar paved the way to numerous myths and legends connected to Order's activities such as the legend of the Holy grail or interconnection with Freemasons and other occult societies. Although it's been over seven centuries since the dissolution of this religious military order, the history of Templars is still fascinating to many scholars who try to investigate further into one of the most powerful organizations in history.