Templar Lore

Kiwis set out on Crusader trail

Two New Zealand musicians are walking 5800km from Britain to Jerusalem – spending a year following the route used by medieval pilgrims.

New Zealanders David Delia, 21, and Max Evenbly, 20, set out today on the 914th anniversary of the first crusade, but told the BBC that their mission was not religious.

Rather, they want to be modern-day troubadours on the trek to Temple Mount.

“After 65 years of European peace, it is time for this path to be walked again,” they said.

The first crusade had the aim of reclaiming Jerusalem and holy sites for the Christian church following an appeal in France by the Pope.

The New Zealanders aim to visit 13 countries on the “templar trail”, the route to Jerusalem which the Knights Templar were charged with protecting.

The pair, who began a band when they were at school, aim to check out music scenes en route as part of a “travelmentary” they are making with a Cardiff-based production company.

Mr Delia, who plays guitar and harmonica, left New Zealand at the age of 19 and moved to Malta, and then Wales.

“It’s about travel and seeing new things and what’s out there,” he said.

“It’s about going to the border of horizons and experiencing new things and try and learn more about what’s going on.”

Mr Evenbly, who plays guitar and ukulele, said: “Me and Dave have always wanted to travel.

“We will definitely be trying to busk.”

The route planned by the pair cuts across eastern Europe and through Turkey to the Levant, and they are going to wear costumes representing both the Crusaders and the Saracens fought by the Knights Templar.

The pair sought advice on the route from Cardiff historian Helen Nicholson, who said that in the 11th Century there were well-established pilgrim routes from western Europe to Jerusalem, and some pilgrim hospices where travellers could stay.

“One major difference is that there are far more bridges now than in the 11th Century – the ‘Kiwi Knights’ will be able to cross Europe’s many rivers safely by bridge rather than paying for a ferry or crossing a ford,” she said. The dangers from bandits on the roads were also lower.


Nail from Christ’s crucifixion found?

A nail dating from the time of Christ’s crucifixion has been found at a remote fort believed to have once been a stronghold of the Knights Templar.
Published: 02 Mar 2010 The Telegraph

The four-inch long nail is thought to be one of thousands used in crucifixions across the Roman empire.

Archaeologists believe it dates from either the first or second century AD.

The nail was found last summer in a decorated box in a fort on the tiny isle of Ilheu de Pontinha, just off the coast of Madeira.

Pontinha was thought to have been held by the Knights Templar, the religious order that was part of the Christian forces which occupied Jerusalem during the Crusades in the 12th century.

The knights were part of the plot of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Bryn Walters, an archaeologist, said the iron nail’s remarkable condition suggested it had been handed with extreme care, as if it was a relic.

“It dates from the first to second centuries,” he told the Daily Mirror.

While one would expect the surface to be “pitted and rough” he said on this nail the surface was smooth.

That suggested that many people had handled it over the centuries, with the acid on their hands giving it a “peculiar finish”.

Christopher Macklin of the Knights Templar of Britannia said the discovery was “momentous”.

He said the original Knights Templar may have thought it was one of the nails used in Christ’s crucifixion.

The nail was found together with three skeletons and three swords.

One of the swords had the Knight Templar’s cross inscribed on it.

Web of Gold – The secret history of a sacred treasure – by Guy Patton and Robin Mackness

According to these guys, the Romans sacked the Temple of Jerusalem and carted off its goodies to Rome whence it was again plundered by the Visigoths. This people eventually settled in an area comprising southern France and northern Spain. And when they in turn were threatened by the expanding Franks, the treasure was secreted around about their last great fortress at what is now Rennes-le-Chateau.

The authors believe this was the first of no less than three treasures (the other two being those of the Knights Templar and the “heretical” Cathars) to be hidden in this region and that over the intervening centuries various interested parties, with varying degrees of success, have sought to recover them. The list includes British Intelligence, the Nazis, a whole range of bizarre individuals and last, but by no means least, certain factions within the French government who, the authors assert, have altogether unwholesome links to the wartime Vichy regime. A tangled web of gold indeed !

The book traces the history of the treasures and investigates the stories behind those who may (or may not) have unearthed all (or part of) any of the three. The story of Bérenger Saunière, the impoverished parish priest of Rennes-le-Chateau is told, of how his renovations in the church with Visigothic foundations unearthed something of world-shattering implication. The involvement of the Priory of Sion is discussed, as well as the alleged dabbling and skulduggery perpetrated by other sinister underground movements.

As its title implies, this is a very complex book covering as it does not only the history of the treasures supposedly hidden in the Languedoc, but also the modern day implications of what those treasures might symbolise were they to be recovered and returned to their rightful owners.

There are so many fingers in this pie, there’s no room for the filling !

The Templars’ Secret Island: The Knights, the Priest & the Treasure by Erling Haagensen, Henry Lincoln

On Friday 13th October, 1307 under instructions from the Pope, the order known as the Knights Templar was rounded up and imprisoned, some were executed. Many sources, however, maintain they received prior notice of their imminent demise, and managed to spirit away their treasure from the main preceptory in Paris to their fleet anchored at La Rochelle. There is no record of the fleet after that date. It simply vanished from history. What was the nature of the Templars’ treasure and where did it end up ? This book offers one theory. In the Baltic Sea, off the south coast of what is now Sweden, lies the unremarkable Danish owned island of Bornholm.

Unremarkable, that is, apart from one thing;for its size, it is literally smothered in ancient churches that bear all the hallmarks of having been built by the Knights Templar. Not only is there a proliferation of Templar churches, but the authors offer evidence they have been so set out as to display a geometric design imprinted on the topography of the island. The book takes us through the mystery of Rennes-le-Chauteau and Bérenger Saunière who allegedly dicovered documents of world-shattering import whilst renovating his delapidated parish church in southern France, documents that purportedly made him a very rich man. Has the geometry revealed when these documents are analysed anything to do with the Bornholm churches ? The authors think so. Are there chambers hewn out of the rock under the Bornholm churches where the Templars may have secreted their treasure after fleeing the wrath of Philip the Fair of France ? What is Bornholm hiding ? What indeed !

The New Jerusalem – The Extraordinary True Story of how a Secret Society Rebuilt London – by Adrian Gilbert

After the great fire of 1666, a great part of the City of London lay in charred ruins. This is the story of how it rose, phoenix like, from the ashes under the guidance of such notables as Sir Christopher Wren. The great buldings we are all familiar with such as St. Paul’s Cathedral stand testament to their accomplishments but what the author is seeking to draw our attention to is something altogether more esoteric.

He provides convincing arguments that Christopher Wren, amongst others, was a Rosicrucian, an underground movement whose motives lay in the preservation of knowledge dating back millenia and which had seen the involvement of the Knights Templar and other movements both exoteric and esoteric during its flow down the ages.

What links edifices such as the Monument, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the ancient Templar church just off the Strand ? Why was the Monument built to such exact dimensions and how is it linked to later erections such as Nelson’s column ?

Have a look at Wren’s startling first design for St. Paul’s, rejected as unacceptable by the clergy. How did the Royal Society come into being as a result of all this ? Anyone who has been to London and looked upon these buildings will be very surpised by what the author has to say.

Very surprised indeed !

The Tomb of God – by Richard Andrews + Paul Schellenberger

Entranced by the story of Rennes-le-Chateau, a small village in southern France where the local priest, Bérenger Saunière, is reputed to have discovered documents of world shattering consequence during renovations of his rundown parish church, the authors embarked upon a quest to find a solution to the mystery.

They ended up with a whole heap more than they initially bargained for. What started as a localised treasure hunt eventually led to a conclusion that, if proved right, will shatter the belief structure of millions of Christians and destroy the very foundation on which the Church in Rome is founded.

Initial analysis of the alleged documents found in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau led to the involvement of the eminence gris that permeates the entire mystery, the Priory of Sion, an organisation claiming not only descent from the Knights Templar but also guardianship of a secret knowledge that could shake the world.

The trial leads through a study of various renaissance paintings the authors feel have been precisely constructed to encode a secret.

This one’s got the lot ! Ancient tombs located on geographical lines; an intellectual treasure hunt through topographical features; coded latin inscriptions carved into headstones that stand above empty graves; the involvement of the Knights Templar and last, but by no means least, a map that purports to pinpoint the burial site of someone (or something) that will turn the world on its head.

Oh lordy, this one’s a cracker !

Turin Shroud – In Whose Image – Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince

These are the same investigative authors who wrote The Templar Revelation and, my word, just look at what they’ve come up with now ! Although first published in 1994, the storyline of this reprint remains essentially the same i.e that the face on the piece of cloth we know as the Turin Shroud belongs to no other than that marvellous heretical genius, Leonardo da Vinci.

That the shroud is not the real McCoy we are all aware. Carbon dating has all but proven the shroud could not possibly have covered the body of a crucified man at the time of the Roman occupation of Judaea. The authors allege that the current shroud is a brilliant fake that Da Vinci was commissioned to forge in order to serve his patron’s political and financial ends.

Although modern photographic techniques can reproduce the negative image present on the Shroud, many hard-line Christians (completely dismissing the carbon-dating results as irrelevant) assert that the technology required to create the image was not around in Da Vinci’s day, and so it can only have been created by some kind of divine intervention such as Jesus emitting spontaneous radioactivity at the moment of resurrection.

Picknett and Prince set out to prove the image could have been created by somebody of a sufficiently experimental bent using materials commonly available in da Vinci’s time (Leonardo certainly fits the bill as far as a man who liked to experiment is concerned). Did they succeed ? Read the book and find out !

Ah, Leonardo. Man of mystery, tormented genius, brilliant heretic. An absolutely fascinating study !