Where did all the Templar treasure disappear to?


It’s vexed many down the ages. The Templars were warriors, monks and medieval bankers. They ran a financial system through their preceptories that spanned Europe and funded their crusades in the Holy Land and Al-Andalus (modern Spain and Portugal). Kings and princes left bequests to the Templars while the living deposited their assets with the order and could draw an early type of cheque from any Templar preceptory in Europe or the Middle East when they needed ready cash. This was far better than dragging your wealth in iron chests behind you.

Templar sealNobody doubts that the Templars accumulated an awful lot of money. At key points in the crusades, they were asked to pay off ransoms for aristocratic warriors captured by the Saracens. More generally, they lent money to kings, princes and even popes becoming Christian moneylenders, an occupation in the medieval period normally associated with the Jews.

At the start of the fourteenth century, king Philip of France faced a riot in Paris when he decided to devalue the currency. Fearing for his life, he fled to the Paris Temple – the order’s headquarters. This was a well fortified building with thick walls and sturdy towers. It had to be – because inside was a huge amount of money. Philip was always cash strapped and having seen what the Templars possessed, he resolved to get his hands on their wealth. It would wipe out his debts and fund his wars with the English.

On 13th October 1307, he arrested the knights Templar throughout France and imprisoned their leaders. But when his men turned up at the Paris Temple, they found nothing. The wealth had disappeared into the ether. Accounts then circulated that the order had been tipped off about the forthcoming arrests and a group of knights had been seen transporting sacks of bullion on carts away to the Templar port of La Rochelle. There, the order’s fleet set sail with the treasure bound for England and never to be seen again.

So where did it go? We enter the realm of the fanciful now with all kinds of theories. Did the wealth include priceless artefacts found under the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem? Did the ships crawl up the British coastline and eventually end up in Scotland? Some have argued that a group of Templars even set sail with the earl of Orkney, Henry Sinclair, and following ancient viking routes made their way to the New World. There, they buried the treasure in what is now Nova Scotia.

Whatever the answer – King Philip of France was left very much out of pocket.

8 thoughts on “Where did all the Templar treasure disappear to?

  1. […] Source: Where did all the Templar treasure disappear to? […]

  2. Tony, I have only recently found your brilliantly uninformative site. I hope you enjoy my book The Royal Secret as much of it ties in with your tales of the Templars. I live in Portugal, once ruled by the Templars in name, and now today also in other names. I will enjoy reading your book the Quest of the True Cross.

    • Tony, you do not have an edit button on your comments site and so my comment meant to say “brilliantly informatative site” but Grammarly seized the wrong spelling from my hands and it came out with an “un” attached to it. Please delete the “un”. I am so sorry!

  3. Here’s a thought, we all know gargoyles are designed to run water away from buildings, and in some cases these statues refer to what one would find within the building. At Rosslyn Chapel, a gargoyle is located on the outer wall with a knight holding a cup. Could the hidden treasure in the chapel include the Holy Grail?

  4. You can find all the answers in The Royal Secret book. see http://www.theroyalsecret.info

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