(For the record – as this has caused some confusion – the three crosses along the bottom of the image above are from the Portuguese Order of Christ – what the Templars became in Portugal after they were crushed. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the Third Reich and I’m absolutely opposed to extreme Right propaganda online – hope that clarifies everything – phew!)
Sintra is a wooded landscape not far from the Portuguese capital Lisbon that has links to the Knights Templar, Freemasons and monarchs from all over Europe (normally deposed ones).
I’ve been visiting Sintra for many years. And the one feature that Templar fans are always drawn to is the so-called Initiation Well. This is a deep man-made hole in the ground with a staircase running down the side of it. Like something out of Game of Thrones in appearance. It’s a Gothic fantasy never used for storing water but instead the venue for Masonic and Templar ceremonies.
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It’s located within an aristocratic estate – one of many in Sintra – called the Quinta da Regaleira. And the whole area is coated in Freemason, Knight Templar and occult imagery. The man behind this esoteric wonderland was a coffee and gemstones multi-millionaire António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848 to 1920). Unsurprisingly, he was a Freemason himself and used his money to create this bizarre Masonic theme park that covers a relatively large area.
Not that Sintra had no association with the Knights Templar. It most certainly did. Up until the 12th century, it was under Muslim rule – part of the huge Islamic caliphate that dominated southern Spain and Portugal from the 8th to the 12th century retaining a foothold in Grenada up to 1492. There’s still a long Muslim-era wall that snakes over the hills and you can walk along it. On a hot day – take it from me – it’s quite an ordeal.
The Knights Templar and the crusader armies of the first kings of Portugal took Sintra and the surrounding towns in the mid-12th century. There is a lot of debate about alleged Templar tunnels under Sintra. The Initiation Well, however, is not from the Templar era. It’s a Masonic nod to the Templars. Nevertheless, I recommend a visit!
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