Timeline of the Knights Templar

The Founding

Why were the Knights Templar needed in the first place? The Knights Templar was established in 1119 to ensure the safety of pilgrims traveling to Christian sites. Once the Franks had captured Jerusalem from the Fatimid Caliphate in 1099 A.D., Christians were motivated to travel to Christian Holy Sites in the Holy Land. These pilgrims had traveled to the East to visit The Holy Land, Jerusalem, and Outremer, and if they were lucky, to bathe in the River Jordan and turn their eyes towards the famous holy places from the bible where Christ preached and performed miracles in Galilee. It was important for the faithful to travel to be present at the same sacred sites of the ministry of Christ. Once the Christians were in Jerusalem, they were safe for Christians, but travel to and from there was not. As these Christian pilgrims traveled to the Holy Land, bandits, and marauders attacked and slaughtered them as they made their way to Jerusalem from Jaffa, part of present-day Tel Aviv. While traveling, horrendous stories by the pilgrims spread throughout the faithful, and the apparent need for protection did not pass unnoticed by the Church. There was an obvious need to protect the pilgrims, and French knight Hugues de Payens proposed the creation of a Catholic monastic Order to protect the pilgrims with the blessing of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, likely at the Council of Nablus in 1120. Baldwin II agreed and granted the Templars a portion of the Temple Mount in the captured Mosque Al-Aqsa.