The legend

The Templars

The Order of the Knights Templar is one of the great mysteries of medieval times. They were born to protect the Holy Places sponsored by the rule of San Bernardo but became much more. It is a mystery how a small group of noble knights became a supranational power spreading across Europe. They preconcibieron modern banking with lending system that made them to accumulate enormous wealth, left their mark on the architecture (are attributed major role in the construction of cathedrals), and were present in the great historical events of the time (especially in the Crusades ).

After settling in Jerusalem to protect pilgrims stayed at the ancient ruins of the Temple of Solomon. Legend has it found a treasure (nonmaterial) that gave them power against the papacy, which were related to the Cathar heresy and the secret Priory of Sion, who sought union between the three monotheistic religions in an authentic (heiress turn pre-Christian cults), who revered Mary Magdalene as a companion of Jesus, who were guarding the Grail (understood as the blood of Christ literally: descent of Jesus would be the true heir of the church, above the papacy) who were present at the discovery of America ...

The truth is that its increased power and wealth triggered one of the biggest conspiracies in history: In 1307 King Philip IV of France, supported by William of Nogaret, commanded the rulers of every corner of the kingdom a letter with a enigmatic order: "Do not open until the 13th of October."
At dawn that day the mission was revealed: They were imprisoning the Knights Templar and confiscate all their assets. a long process in which the judgment was rendered practically started beforehand. The defense of the Templars did not find sufficient support in Pope Clement V, conditioned by the fear of direct confrontation with the king. The order of the Templars was suppressed; their tortured, and forced to recant members, if not killed; their wealth confiscated ...

In Paris, in March 1314, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Order of the Temple was about to be consumed by the fire of the stake. Legend says that before he died notice to King Philip IV and Pope Clement V to divine judgment in which the faces would be before the end of the year. In April of that same year died Pope; in November, the king. His three sons died without male offspring thus ending the capeta dynasty that had reigned in France for more than 300 years ...

Puebla de Alcocer scale serves as a route to visit the architectural remains of the Order of the Knights Templar in Spain. Starting from Madrid, you can visit the fortress of San Martin de Montalban and Malamoneda tower in the mountains of Toledo. Arriving at Puebla, after hearing the Siberia of Extremadura, we can go to Jerez de los Caballeros, the most important Templar center of Extremadura and approach the pretty medieval village Thomar, in Portugal, the last great stronghold of the temple in Europe, where the last knights could escape persecution initiated by Felipe IV the beautiful. We invite you to track the presence of the Knights Templar in the area, on a route for lovers of history.

Four Mountains

Starting from Puebla de Alcocer to chapel, on a whim of nature, they align with incredible precision four mountains that are somehow related to the Templar order. They are places where the traveler is in special connection with nature, chosen by the Knights for its privileged geographical location, "energy points" if we consider the mystical interpretations of the order, with elements common to other important sites Templars: the presence of water, caves, the cult of the virgin ...

Is it a coincidence that this imaginary line extending southwards we come to a place called Holy Stones ?.

The Great Encyclopedia of Extremadura, in its definition of "Templar" tells us: "In the province of Badajoz there were two templarias parcels of Puebla de Alcocer and Jerez de los Caballeros. The first, under Puebla de Alcocer and for the current Extremadura Siberia, has its origin in 1236 when King Ferdinand III directs the Master of the Temple Esteban Belmonte, the conquest of this region. Apart from the current Encomienda castle, occupied populations Zarza-Capilla Chapel Peñalsordo, Garlitos and Siruela among others. "
The first settlement on the peninsula temple was in Caceres, in the village of Abbey in 1166, extending from there as the Reconquista progressed. The task of Puebla de Alcocer only appears in some sources cited parcel of Chapel (the Templars settled there later), referring to the entire territory of Siberia.
There was a latent problem throughout the Middle Ages in relation to the boundaries of the territories of the area: the order of Alcantara received the region of La Serena; the Templars had Chapel, Siruela and Almorchón; and the Order of Calatrava was owner of the Alcudia. With all shared terms Puebla, and having a privileged position is logical rivalry. The big problem is the lack of written references documenting the presence of the Templars, which increases the mystery surrounding them. After the councils of Salamanca and Alcala property of the Templars passed to the Crown of Castile and other military orders, so that the subsequent importance of the order of Alcantara in Puebla prevents the attribution to the Templars of medieval remains today preserved.
Puebla de Alcocer, the starting point of our route, dependent on principle of Toledo, was recognized villa during the reign of Alfonso XI, with the lordly domain of Garcia de Toledo. Since 1334 it was under the dominion of the Catalan nobleman Don Bernat, Viscount of Cabrera, come from the Catalan counties just a few years after the extinction of the Knights Templar (unknown if he had any relation to the order, his family was suitor County Urgel). The peak of Puebla with its concession would villa at the hands of Don Gutierre de Sotomayor, Master of the Order of Alcantara, in 1445, flamboyant gentleman who built the spectacular castle crowns the town today.
Walking through the streets of Puebla we can transport us to the past and imagine life for centuries, as the villa has barely grown since. We recommend visiting the church of St. James, with a beautiful coffered Mudejar and plateresque cover, where it is believed he was buried Pedro I the Cruel. At the top of the mountain are the hermitage of the Virgin of the cave ( "that people pray for rain," according to the popular tradition). Where the chapel is located today Neolithic remains indicate that it was a primitive settlement and the remains of a funerary monument consists of a series of crown-shaped menhirs dated around the year 5000 B.C. they found as well as two axes that period, one of diorite and the other polished flint. The cave, the cult of the Virgin, the Christian tradition that blends with ancient pagan rites ... esoteric elements in the Templar mythology, all along the spectacular castle.
Built in the second half of the fifteenth century on an earlier fortification surely Templar, the fortress stands on the highest point of the area, being visible from an area of ​​approximately forty kilometers around. It is a walled castle of irregular polygonal shape, with a colossal Donjon (25 m. high and 10 m. in diameter, on a solid foundation that raises even more so) finished building by Doña Elvira de Zúñiga, by what blazon of arms of the Zúñiga family in the tower also carved the shields of Sotomayor family appears. Its length is 80 m. and its width of 47 m. It is made with masonry but the presence of double rows of brick strips and windows inside boxes, indicating the involvement of mudéjares alarifes workers in its construction. Its walls have an average height of 20 m. and a width of 2.10 to 2.70 m. From inside the excavation of a tunnel that, according to popular tradition, connected with the Templar fortress of Lares seen (with Siruela according to other versions) to escape in case of siege.
From the top of the tower you can see one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen, seen by callers to Puebla "the balcony of Siberia". The magnitude and beauty of this castle is meant to know the personality of who was his master, Don Gutierre de Sotomayor, whose motto was: "Everything is little."
Located in the southwest of the mountain of the same name, at the confluence of the mouth of the Guadalemar and Zújar river, near the small village of Galizuela, we find the ruins of what was once a Templar settlement connected to Puebla, since among both strengths livestock route passed the Mesta, to lend protección.Desde Galizuela village on a route of 2 km. approximately we can access the ruins of the Templar settlement. Hopefully, nature lovers can photograph during the journey spectacular specimens of vultures nesting in the cima.La fortress is situated on the top of the mountain, occupying an esplanade of 950x450 meters. almost inaccessible parts east and west, north defensive enclosure had its entrance, defended by two walled towers and a defensive wall south. Constructed in the early thirteenth century is part of the reconquest of the region at the hands of the Templars. His name has been attributed to Ares, the Greek god of war, present in other place names templariasHoy root is in ruins due to dispossession, and their inaccessibility makes is surprisingly neglected by scholars.
His visit serves to connect with the Templar mysticism: one may well align with the castle of Puebla and the spectacular conical mountain of Cerro Masatrigo at its peak. From there the sun sets behind the Templar ruins, west-facing, it would be interesting study that explains the layout of the castle in relation to solar mystique of the Templars. That exact spot is an ideal place to meditate, a mystical place to feel the energy of nature ... The historiography only documents the existence of this fortress, so the popular tradition brings revelations exciting place. In his Chronicle book of 17 people (Extremadura Siberia), Vicky Jimenez collects testimonies of the inhabitants of Galizuela over the castle. In them we talk about a hidden treasure found by an old man before he died, that conveyed the message: "against the Moor is the treasure." His son found in one of the rooms the bust of a Moor. After digging fruitlessly front of the statue, anger led him to hit the bust and break into pieces. From "the head of Moor" then began to sprout gold coins. We are facing a legend that should not spurn. Bafuméticos links with cults attributed to the Templars: the head of the Moor is identified by the dark color likely bust. In addition, the treasure can be a parable of inner wisdom, true wealth, which is in our mind, "inside the head" ... In this book also tells of alleged deviations in behavior of the Templars: theft those who crossed the route and then pretend to help, attempted indecent assault alleging "droit de seigneur" (a cowboy killed by a stone thrown a Templar knight who tried to abuse his new wife giving name to a stream: the cowboy). True or not, these episodes did not contribute to the good reputation of gentlemen, branded as greedy. Legend of a fabulous treasure, accumulated largely due to theft, has been singing us: "Lara, Lara worth hide the treasures that Spain". That treasure has not yet been found ...
Following the road towards Cabeza del Buey, straight with the castles of Puebla and Lares we find this spectacular mountain and almost perfect conical shape forms. It is surrounded by water and forms a unique landscape. Currently you can climb to the top and is a great bird observatory.
In the definition of the limits of the Templar Chapel task of the hill "Amasatrigo" cited. It has also been cited with galaico name Maçatrigo, which means wheat mill, to which recalls the conical shape of the mountain, so it has been speculated the presence in the area of northern peoples in the distant past, linked traditionally with the Templar mythology.
Capilla was conquered from the Arabs in 1226 by Ferdinand III, with the help of the Templars, who camped in the Valley now called the Order., Where they built the Monastery of the Incarnation. Today little remains of this monastery but you can visit knowing its exact location. The village is granted the order on September 9, 1236 by the holy king, giving the master Esteban Belmonte "forever the castiello Capiella is said of his term", later he joined Almorchón Castle. The name of the municipality in Arab time certainly aroused the interest of the Knights Templar town was known as "Cabala". In chapel there are also remains of prehistoric settlements, with inscriptions in rock warriors known as wake Chapel, whose drawings appear in the coat of arms. In the book State of Chapel, José Muñoz Rubio limits the Commendation of Chapel cited by a text of 1310, in which the Order of Calatrava claimed domains Temple, contrary to the provisions of Fernando VI he sold to the Order of Alcantara.
In that complaint he acted as scribe Ioan Dominguez, Puebla de Alcocer ... The record speaks of rangelands belonging to the charge, as the Yuntas, that "... part with Cordova (...) and goes to the Holy Stone ...". we believe that this is the current chapel of Piedras Santas, near Pedroche, located in the exact extension to the southeast of the alignment of these four mountains. It would be interesting to note the mystical roots of this hermitage. Also, the document cites the pastureland of Garbayuelas that "... part with the Order of the Knights of Alcantara Lares ...". Castle for Lares belonged to this farm. Castle Chapel is of Arab origin, belonging to the ancient Cabala. It was a strategic place that controlled access to Andalusia from the Almaden area (Qupsa). In it the Templars were established after the conquest of the people. It underpins the strength of a rock 558 meters. altitude, and is smaller than the dimensions of Puebla. Its construction is masonry and is adorned with six cylindrical towers, most in the central part. On the tower facing the northwest we can see the alignment of the four mountains to the castle of Puebla. After the Council of Alcalá, in 1309 Fernando IV "the located" sells Chapel of the Order of Alcantara as already noted, ending the presence of the Knights Templar in the area.
To complete the route should visit the nearby castle of Templar Almorchón. In the vicinity is a chapel where the Templars worshiped "Our Lady of Bethlehem" and authors such as Atienza been attributed to an assimilation of pre-Christian cults related to the god Belenos. Siruela are the ruins known as "walls". In Garlitos origin is likely Templar church of Our Lady of Jerusalem. In the municipality of Encomienda is the Templar castle which gave rise to people.
To complete a vision of medieval Extremadura we can visit the Moorish fortress of Herrera del Duque, Castle Christian Benquerencia ... We hope you enjoy this journey in which the castles, silent witnesses of history, help us understand a fascinating time.