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Knights Templar: Switzerland

switzerland-map

Is there any connection between Knights Templar and Switzerland?

The “Old Swiss Confederation” was born on the 1st August 1291.

In 1280, the French Monarchy was in conflict with the Templar’s, so it was inevitable issues would come to a head.

The Templar’s headquarters in the city of Troyes in France was lost, when the region had come under the control of the French Crown.

The Templars must have got wind, of possible actions being put in place by King Philip IV of France.  Twenty-four hours before the arrest of Jacques de Molay on the 13th October 1307, a fleet of Templar ships sailed from the French port of La Rochelle, laden with treasure and knights.

Knight Templar Ships

Templar Fleet

The French Monarchy, who had expected to confiscate Templar treasure, found empty store houses… it had sailed away from France under the cover of darkness, destination unknown.

When the order went out by the Pope, that all Templar knights were to be arrested.  Thousands were rounded up and arrested on charges of heresy and burnt at the stake, whilst other’s dispersed across Europe, seeking sanctuary.  Some escaped to Spain, joining up with the Caltrava and Alcantra, some moved to Portugal and took on a new name; the Order of Christ.  Others joined the Teutonic knights of Germany, and some joined the Hospitallers, the stepping stone to the Knights of Malta.

knights-templar-2a

Knights Templar

Some Templar knights landed in Scotland and were granted sanctuary by Robert the Bruce.  These knights took up arms and joined Robert the Bruce in his fight against the English, for Scotland’s Independence.  Rosslyn Chapel, home of the Sinclair knights, members of the Templar order.  These warriors were buried along with their treasure in the crypt of the chapel.

With Switzerland located over the border to the east of France.  Hundreds of Knights Templar would have easily slipped across the border with their treasures, into this newly formed country.

The main income of Switzerland was farming… it was a poor country, ripe for a takeover.

In 1315, Duke Leopold of Habsburg attacked several hundred men with his force of 2,000 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers… expecting little resistance.

He was in for a surprise, as the Swiss possessed a new weapon, the “Halberd” which was mounted on a long pole, capable of bringing down horses and used like a lance.  Leopold lost almost 2,000 warriors that day, and was forced to retreat.

halbard-switzerland

Halberd

Therefore in my opinion a primitive farming country had received outside assistance, enabling them to protect their lands from invading warriors.

The only answer that made sense, Templar Knights had escaped from France, crossed the border into Switzerland and granted sanctuary, bringing with them their military expertise and Templar treasure… buying their way into this new country.

The Templar’s were Europe’s bankers from the 11th – 14th century, now the largest banking and financial institutions of Europe are located in Switzerland.

Pope Julius II called upon Helvetian soldiers in 1506, these mercenaries who would shape Italy’s future, and were granted the title “Defenders of the Church’s Freedom.”

On the 22nd January 1506, one hundred and ninety-nine years after the arrest of Jacques de Molay in France, the Vatican created the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

swiss-guard-vatican

The Vatican’s Swiss Guard

One hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers under the command of Captain Kasparvon Silenen of Canton Uri, passed through the Vatican and were blessed by Pope Julius II.

switzerland-flag

Flag of Switzerland

The famous cross associated with the Knights Templar, is incorporated into the flag of Switzerland.

Wikipedia Images

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Knights Templar: Switzerland

  1. What an interesting bit of history. I lived in Switzerland for five years — even their current military is surprising. Shortly after I arrived, I heard loud rumbling outside. When I looked out the window, there were tanks rolling up towards me, heading up the mountain… Never underestimate the Swiss!

    Thanks for the fllow.

    Like

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