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On the trail of the Holy Grail in Poland

Hello! I wanted to share a very interesting article I saw today, about the little known history of the Knights Templar in Poland:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/knights-templar-holy-grail-poland/index.html

During the middle ages, the Kingdom of Poland invited the Knights Templar to settle the western reaches of the Kingdom (what's now the Polish-German border). The result is a string of Knights Templar churches, chapels, and fortifications from Pomerania in the north down to Silesia in the south, following the Oder river.

I'll admit that I was unaware of the existence of these sites, but it looks like a fantastic roadtrip itinerary through some of the lesser known parts of Poland, along the German border. The local legend is after the Knights were excommunicated and expelled in the 14th century, they hid the Holy Grail in a lake close to the town of Myślibórz. Though that's sounds like some great marketing from the local tourism office haha!

Posted by
5880 posts

Sorry Carlos, but unless the Knights-who-say-Ni were part of the Templars, and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is involved, it sounds like a red herring. 😁

Posted by
2167 posts

Lol! A fantastic film, I'm a big fan of Monty Python, of course one must not forget the Book of Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one:

"O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats" 😂

Posted by
21155 posts

I read the same thing but at a different site. Thought it was a fun read and id some places well off the beaten path that would interesting to visit. I made some notes. Who really knows where it is? The lake mentioned no longer exists.

Posted by
1264 posts

Carlos, no orangutan for me, but what breakfast cereals are on offer?

Posted by
12238 posts

@ Carlos....What is stated here must be different from inviting the Teutonic Knights (what we call them in English but das Ritterorden in German). Those towns and fortifications set up by them were Marienburg (Malbork), Marienwerder, Thorn (Torun) and others in the lower Vistula area.

"...along the German border." The absolute most poignant, haunting place I've visited in that area is Küstrin an der Oder. Küstrin- Kietz is the district west of the Oder, the Polish side of that former city, ie the Altstadt is Pompei like, ...mere ruins, and I mean ruins, knowing what happened in 1945 and afterwards under commie leadership with maps and bilingual explanations, ie Polish and German offered.

This is all doable as a direct shot from Berlin heading towards the Oder. I did this day trip a few years back in 2017.

Posted by
2167 posts

@Fred.. yes inviting the Teutonic Knights provide to be a costly mistake for Poland, the Templars, on the other hand, provide much less aggressive.

Interestingly, Kostrzyn is now the home of one of the most wild music festivals in Poland, based off of Woodstock in the United States, dubbed "the biggest open-air festival in Europe".

Posted by
12238 posts

@ Carlos...yes, exactly, a mistake. The Teutonic Knights saw their "mission" as what the Americans call, "Manifest Destiny," a much more euphemistic label than what it is called in German, "Drang nach Osten" (push to the East).

Thanks for the info on Kostrzyn/Küstrin...good to know, and an incentive to go back. The shopping markets, cafes, etc there are worth the price too, located " mini-malls" set up mainly to cater to German shoppers.

Posted by
10 posts

Hello Carlos,

My family are German Silesians and as I was tracing my family ancestry, I read where the Knight Templar were in this part of Poland. Like others I was incredulos since we think of the Templars as residing in France but I read there were Knight Templars in Bohemia (Czech Republic) which borders Silesia. When reading about Silesia in the Middle Ages, it appears the Hospitalliers had a bigger presence. I found a book written in 1969 by a Boleslaw Szczesniak entitled "The Knights Hospitallers in Poland and Lithuania." My interest in the topic - it appears members of the religious orders also served as "lokators" - persons who brought immigrants from what is now Germany into Silesia and helped them settle in the area. It was a source of income for the cleric.

Posted by
5880 posts

A bit hard to find but this historical novel: The Knights of the Cross or The Teutonic Knights by Henryk Sienkiewicz is a good read on the subject. It was the first book re-published in Poland after WWII. Noting the difference between the Knights Templar, Knights Hospitaller, and Teutonic Knights gets confusing.

Posted by
18 posts

I visited several countries that were occupied by the Knights Hospitalers. It gave me a great appreciation of the reasons for the Crusades. Not properly understanding history has painted all these knights as evil.