Thursday, April 18, 2013

Templar churches on Bornholm Island, Denmark (quote)

source Wikipedia
" Located 40 kilometers southeast of the southern tip of Sweden but territorially part of Denmark, the island of Bornholm is one of the oldest visible rocks in the world....Archaeological excavation reveals the island to have been settled since at least 3600 BC, when numerous dolmens and Neolithic mounds began to be constructed....

In medieval times, the island was known as Burgunderland or Burgunderholm, from which the present name derives (holm is an old Danish word for island). During the transition to Christianity between 1050 and 1150 AD, around 40 runic stones were erected around the island and today most of these are found in the vicinity of churches and old bridges where they have often been reused as building materials.

Clearly the most famous of the ancient constructions of Bornholm Island are its medieval round churches. The current hypothesis among historians is that these structures were not intended solely for religious practices but that they also had a defensive function. Given their assumed construction period in the 12th century, this makes seems to make sense as the Baltic region was then subjected to near continuous raids by Slavonic pirates from the island of Rugen, off the German coast.... (However), if places of refuge were needed during times of attack, it would have been far more logical for the population to have gathered within the fortresses of Gamleborg and Lilleborg, which were vastly more secure and defensible during the time of the supposed pirate raids.

Writing in their book, The Templars' Secret Island, Erling Haagensen and Henry Lincoln present evidence linking the four round churches of Bornholm with the controversial and much misunderstood religious brotherhood of the Templars...

Haagensen and Lincoln have done pioneering work in the analysis of Bornholm's sacred geography but the authors believe that deeper and more esoteric secrets remain to be discovered. The celestial alignments of the island's Neolithic constructions and the round churches need to be studied in more detail (for example the upper windows in the Osterlars church were positioned to be in alignment with the sunrises of the winter and summer solstices). Additionally, ancient pagan symbols encoded in carvings and frescos found in the four round churches and also at Poulsker church in south Bornholm need to be examined with a broader knowledge than that of the conventional historical approach. "



source: sacredsites.com

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Basic Layout Cistercian Monastery

In reaction to the development of non-basic elements in Cluniac Benedictine monasteries, the Cistercians originally adopted a very simple and strick lay-out for their monasteries. No unnecessary elements were allowed. Special attention was given to allowing the basic Benedictine combination in every day life of prayer and working (Ora at labora). At the same time much more attention than normal in those days was paid to personal hygiene, with daily washing of  hands and head and weekly washing of the feet and ample supply of fresh streaming water. For the latter convenience regulation of a local stream, prior to and during building of the monastery was standard procedure, allowing the water to flow under the building through arched basements. Below the standard lay-out of a Cistercian convent is illustrated.

Not shown here is the orientation of the whole with the north to the left. Also is missing the artificial branch of the brook at the tophand, upstream corner, which led the flowing water under the brother's wing (22) to a well in the cloister (13) and the kitchen area (27, 28), to join the brook again in the southwestern corner of the terrain, in the bottom right corner of the plan. Note that the toilets of the brothers (19) next to their first floor dormitory (18) and a similar convenience for the lay brothers in their wing (36) is aptly situated right over the main stream of the brook.

source www.paradoxplace.com
The source site also describes the plan as follows (quote) 
This template shows the standard layout of Cistercian Abbeys - the green/blue areas are those reserved for the lay brothers, who were not allowed to mix with the choir monks, even to the extent of having a solid screen (=wall) separating the nave of the abbey from the choir (a feature removed in later more egalitarian  restorations, but still evident in the screens which divide the choir and apse areas (hence "choir monks") from pollutants from the outside world in monastic English cathedrals). 

The numbers include the night stairs (4) to the church transept from the monk's dormitory (18).  When establishing new monasteries priority was given to building the transept / chapter house / dormitory structures first so the monks had a place to worship and a roof over their heads plus washing and toilet stuff (19 and 36, hanging out over the river if possible).  Then there are the Chapter House (16 - often intact in Cistercian ruins), the Cloisters (15), day stairs (17), scriptorium (22), novices day room (23), kitchen (28), lay brothers' cloister, refectory (31), store room (33) and lay brothers' dormitory (35).  There would also have been a hand washing lavatorium on the way to the refectory, and a warming room where monks were allowed to warm up in cold winters (24).  Sometimes the monastery buildings were on the north side of the abbey if the drainage / river situation dictated it, and at Rievaulx the abbey faces south (called ecclesiastical east!) with the monastery buildings on the west side to accommodate the sloping hill site.

For a virtual visit of a classic Cistercian monastery go here.

Cistercian monasteries 11th 12th century

As the research of TemplarsNow is progressing, proof of the direct relationship between the Cistercian monastic Order and the Order of the Knights Templar is mounting. It becomes clear that the origin and original aims of the Knights Templar cannot be understood without understanding the Cistercian movement at the time. The start of the Cistercian Order preceded that of the Knights Templar only a few decades, it stood at the same region in north-eastern France and held the same actors related to local noble families, with a pivotal role for the court of the Earl of Champagne at Troyes. Therefore, information on the onset of the Cistercian order will be added to this site.

To start with a few maps, dealing with the origin and spread of Cistercian Abbeys. The proto-Cistercian Abbey of Molesme and the first real Cistercian Abbey of Citeaux were offspring of the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. The Cistercians splitt off from the Benedictin order aiming for more strict observance of The Rule of St Benedict, because they thought the Benedictine Order was not anymore following this Rule strictly enough.

At first glance it van be seen that the Cistercian Order developed much more internationally than theCluniac Order. In the same way the Order of the Knigths Templar developed as a real multinational organization, be it that at the time the concept of nation states was not yet established, and the international framework was much more a network of interrelated (by family or mariage) princedoms. Compare with the spread of the Knights Templar on our maps tab.

Location of Clunaic and Cistercian monasteries in Europe c. 1200-1300 source

Cistercian Abbeys, France source

Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 OSMTH Commemoration Jacques de Molay and Investiture, Paris, France

OSMTH video of 2013 OSMTH commemoration of Jacques de Molay and Investiture, March 22-24, Paris, France. source


"Estonian defense chief offers apology for breach of uniform regulations"

source
"Commander of the Estonian defense forces Maj. Gen. Riho Terras has offered his apology to fellow service members and the public for breach of the rules on wearing a military uniform after the media published photos of him performing a Templar ceremony while uniformed.

During the defense chief's information event at the military base of Tapa on Thursday, Maj. Gen. Terras informed leading officers of the defense forces and the Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps of his activity in the non-profit association OSMTH and gave his apologies for violation of the rules on wearing a uniform, military spokespeople in Tallinn said."

source and further reading in news.postimees.ee

Charge Given to the Knights

King Arthur - source
No, this "Charge" was not intended for the Knights Templar. It was given by King Arthur, the legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, to his Knights of the Round Table. No links whatsoever. Or are there....?

"God make you a good man and fail not of beauty. The Round Table was founded in patience, humility, and meekness.Thou art never to do outrageousity, nor murder, and always to flee treason, by no means to be cruel, and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentle women succour. Also, to take no battles in a wrongful quarrel for no law nor for no world's goods.

Thou shouldst be for all ladies and fight for their quarrels, and ever be courteous and never refuse mercy to him that asketh mercy, for a knight that is courteous and kind and gentle has favor in every place. Thou shouldst never hold a lady or gentle woman against her will.

Thou must keep thy word to all and not be feeble of good believeth and faith. Right must be defended against might and distress must be protected. Thou must know good from evil and the vain glory of the world, because great pride and bobauce maketh great sorrow. Should anyone require ye of any quest so that it is not to thy shame, thou shouldst fulfil the desire.

Ever it is a worshipful knights deed to help another worshipful knight when he seeth him a great danger, for ever a worshipful man should loath to see a worshipful man shamed, for it is only he that is of no worship and who faireth with cowardice that shall never show gentelness or no manner of goodness where he seeth a man in any danger, but always a good man will do another man as he would have done to himself.

It should never be said that a small brother has injured or slain another brother. Thou shouldst not fail in these things: charity, abstinence and truth. No knight shall win worship but if he be of worship himself and of good living and that loveth God and dreadeth God then else he geteth no worship here be ever so hardly.

An envious knight shall never win worship for and envious man wants to win worship he shall be dishonoured twice therefore without any, and for this cause all men of worship hate an envious man and will show him no favour.

Do not, nor slay not, anything that will in any way dishonour the fair name of Christian knighthood for only by stainless and honourable lives and not by prowess and courage shall the final goal be reached. Therefore be a good knight and so I pray to God so ye may be, and if ye be of prowess and of worthiness then ye shall be a Knight of the Table Round."


source

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Payens Commandery near Troyes - a 3D reconstruction

This 3D reconstruction of a Knights Templar commandery is based on discoveries made during the archaeological survey (1998) of the commandery at Payens in the French Departement Aube. Production: General Council of Département de Aube. Director: Okénite Animation. Length 6 minutes. Explanation in French.