On the Trail of the Templars - BBC Radio Documentary - cheops
700 years ago, on Friday 13th 1307, the main leaders of the Knights Templar were arrested in Paris and all their assets seized. They were tortured, accused of betraying Christ himself, and the most wealthy and powerful religious order of the previous two centuries was stamped out of existence. Did they harbour a dreadful secret?
Martin Palmer travels to Templar sites across England to separate fact from fantasy.
He begins in the place where part of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code is set, among the effigies in Temple Church in London. The building's distinctive circular shape, like others of their churches, was created by the Templars to re-create Constantine's basilica in Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
In the course of his journey he talks with one of the writers who helped create the most recent wave of interest in the Templar knights, Lynn Picknett, co-author with Clive Prince of The Templar Revelation cited by Dan Brown as a major influence on his best-selling novel.
Martin talks with scholars Jonathan Riley-Smith and Helen Nicholson, and meets modern-day Templar Knights in the regalia of the medieval order, a red splayed cross on a white mantle. He visits Templar sites at Denny Abbey near Cambridge, Temple Balsall near Warwick, Garway in Herefordshire, and Templecombe in Somerset, making surprising discoveries.
Martin Palmer is a writer and consultant on religions and their sacred sites.
One episode of 30 minutes.
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 128
Mode : joint stereo
Frequency : 48000 Hz
Encoder : Lame 3.96
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