Knights Templar is one of the entries in 5 Most Notorious Secret Societies.
The Knights Templar was an order of monastic knights founded in 1120 to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem.
The group was given a headquarters on the Temple Mount where they were rumored to acquire relics such as the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.
The group amassed great wealth after it began receiving donations from Europe's wealthiest families, and the Vatican exempted it from local laws and taxes.
They began to take on an increased financial role in Europe by managing the estates of Crusaders and by setting up an early banking system for pilgrims.
The Order protected the Holy Land for nearly 200 years but fell out of favor after Jerusalem was recaptured by the Muslims.
King Philip IV of France, who was heavily in debt to the Knights, ordered the arrest of all Templars in 1307, and Pope Clement V dissolved the Order in 1312.
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