Knights Templar

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The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, better known as the Knights Templar, were a monastic order of chivalry founded in aftermath of the First Crusade to defend the Kingdom of Jerusalem and provide aid and comfort to pilgrims in the Holy Land. They were named for their headquarters, the al-Aqsa Mosque, erroneously believed by the Crusaders to be the Jewish Temple.

Because many wealthy Europeans traveled to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, the Templars would often manage their finances for them, essentially becoming their bankers. This, combined with revenues from pilgrims and their many landholdings, made the "Poor Knights" immensely wealthy, and they were a significant political and economic power in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and afterwards.

Templars wore distinctive arms: Argent, a cross gules, in contrast to their rivals, the Knights Hospitaller. This was an adaptation of the crusader's badge of the First Crusade.

Another common badge of the Knights Templar was that of two knights mounted on a single horse, a reference to their supposed poverty and piety.