Clairvaux Abbey, major site for Cistercians and Knights Templar - 900th anniversary

The Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux was the home of Saint Bernard of Crairvaux, founder of this Cistercian Abbey and spiritual supporter of the Knigths Templar during their early years.

Included on the calendar of national commemorations in 2015 of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the 900th anniversary of the Abbey of Clairvaux was elected cultural theme of 2015 by the General Council of the Aube Department, France

Conducted in partnership with the state and the Renaissance association Clairvaux, "Operation Clairvaux 2015" invited to visit the heart of the Cistercian adventure:
  • opening of a new visiting track at the Abbey of Clairvaux as from June, with in particular the of the monks' refectory newly restored by the State; exhibition-event at Troyes: Clairvaux, the Cistercian adventure (early June / mid-November), conducted by the General Council of Aube Department. First exhibition of this scale on the monastic, political, economic, artistic and intellectual life of Clairvaux, during the twelfth to the eighteenth century. Presentation of over 150 original documents, manuscripts and unpublished collected from all over Europe. Reconstruction of the abbey in 3D;
  • publications (BD, catalog), putting  on line the Abbey kept at the departmental archives of the Aube and at the library of the Grand Troyes (library of 1472, classified Memory of the World by UNESCO);
  • series of manifestations across the Aube Department and beyond (concerts, conferences, seminars, shows, etc.). Find the whole program here.
Many actions allowing to discover much more of the exceptional history and heritage of this abbey founded in 1115 by St. Bernard. It shone in Cistercian Europe, before becoming the largest prison in France in the nineteenth century.

source of text (translated from French to English and slightly corrected). Illustration source www.thegoodlifefrance.com

Modern Knights Templar in Côte d’Or Region, NE France

More than eight hundred years after the execution of Jacques de Molay (Last Master of the Knights Templar), the Templars leave the shadows. A report on this discreet society between Burgundy and Franche-Comté (North-Eastern France).

Knights Templar and Switserland

Twin Castle Valere and Tourbillion in Sion Switzerland
"The current Knights Templar Headquarters are in Geneva.  This country befits and holds similar many of the most common and closely guarded values of the original Knights Templar.

The oldest abbey established in Switzerland is Sion, in the Valais Canton. There is a twin peaks overlooking the town, meaning new Jerusalem or holy place in the Alps.  The twin mountains house the cathedral of Sion and the Castle Tourbillion.  These date back to the beginning times of Swiss Confederation formation around 1291.  A time when the Templars were known to be looking to establish a European mainland stronghold outside of the Holy Land as they were being pushed out of the Levant by the Muslims and the Christians had lost their stomach to fight on any longer.

These are suggestions that certain historians and conspiracists alike deem to be true that suggest that the Knights Templar did in fact form Switzerland.  The evidence and likelihood seem pretty plausible to me. The county of Valais in the city of Sion has a particular Templar tie in the founding history. Rumors have always floated that this is where the Templars originally set up shop after their flight from France.
  • In the history of the first Swiss Cantons there are tales of white coated knights mysteriously appearing and helping the locals to gain their independence against foreign domination.
  • The founding of the early Switzerland pinpoints exactly to the period when the Templars were being persecuted in France by King Philip IV of France.
  • Switzerland is directly to the east of France and would have been particularly easy for fleeing Templar brothers from the whole region of France to get to.
  • The Templars were one of the earliest known banking systems in early day Europe. King Phillip in fact was deeply in debt to the Templars.
  • Not only were the Templars big into banking, but also in farming, engineering, and clock making (of an early type). These same aspects can be seen as importance to the commencement and gradual forming of the separate states that would eventually be Switzerland.
  • The Swiss don’t really know the ins and outs of their earliest history (or suggest that they don’t.)
  • They are famous for being secretive and independent as were the Templars.
  • The famous Templar Cross is incorporated into the flags of many of the Swiss Cantons. As are other emblems, such as keys and lambs, that were particularly important to the Knights Templar.
  • The Swiss were and are famous for their religious tolerance – and so were the Templars"

Text and illustrations from 9thtemplar.wordpress.com. The top illustration shows Twin Castle Valere and Tourbillion
in Sion Switzerland. The bottom one
Castle Chateau Valere Sion Switzerland.

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Contemporary criticism on Templar fighting

"There were many other complaints against the military orders before 1300. Perhaps the most significant were the divided opinions over their record of fighting the Muslims (and other non-Christians).

Contemporary views on Templar privileges

"But the Templars and the Hospitallers caused particular annoyance because their houses were so widely scattered. Their legal privileges were especially resented.