Templar Mysteries

The Knights of Christ

Perhaps the most straightforward of the Templar offshoots. There are two schools of thought on their formation. The first is that the Templars merely changed their name. The second is that the society mainly comprised different personnel, but successfully inherited the Templar properties in Portugal.

Historically, the order was famed for their maritime activities. Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama were both Knights of Christ, and both accomplished much during their lives. Christopher Columbus, though not officially a member, did sail to the New World with other members of the order. He was also married to the daughter of one of the former grandmasters, Bartolomeu Perestrelo.

Officially the society was formed in around 1319 and secularised in 1789. When the Portuguese monarchy ended in 1910, the organisation was dissolved, only to be revived in 1917. It presently exists as one of at least three “Ancient Military Orders” recognised by the Portuguese government.

A key location for the order is Tomar in Portugal. The Church of Santa Maria has long been rumoured to contain a hidden passageway that runs to the Convento de Cristo or the nearby castle, but no such tunnel has ever been found. There is also a legend that the church once housed the Templar treasure, but this similarly cannot be validated at present.