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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Lothian

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Myths and Legends
From Jerusalem to Rosslyn?: The Templars in Scotland

Rosslyn Chapel was founded in 1446 by Sir William St Clair.
Although the original plans for Rosslyn have not been found, it is thought that the chapel was originally intended to be part of a larger building, with the existing chapel intended to form the choir in a larger nave. The Chapel is famous for its striking and unusual carvings, which depict Christian imagery such as angels and devils along with icons associated with the pre Christian era, such as the Green Man. In his 1812 book 'Architectural Antiquities of Britain' John Britton wrote, that Rosslyn’s "variety and eccentricity are not to be defined by any words of common acceptation". The carvings undoubtedly add to the mystery of Rosslyn, but how did the church become associated with the Knights Templar? In order to appreciate the legends behind Rosslyn, we need to examine the story of the Templars and the legends and rumours surrounding their demise.

The Knights Templar were formed after the First Crusade to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land. On Christmas day 1119, nine knights took vows of poverty and chastity and obedience in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The knights included Hugh of Payns who had originally proposed the formation of a community of knights living under a religious Rule to protect travellers. They called themselves ‘The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ’ and resided in a room in the al-Aqsa mosque, known as the Temple of Solomon and hence came to be known as ‘The Knights of the Temple’ or Templars.

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Your comments

1 matt from london - 13 January 2004
"Does anyone else believe that mary magdalane was jesus's wife and that her tomb was once underneath rosslyn chapel? "

2 Paul Kenny from Dublin, Ireland - 27 December 2003
"Thankfully, some mysteries remain just that. A Mecca for all Freemasons, Rosicrucian’s and those interested in the 'Western Mysteries'. I highly recommend a visit."

3 norberto moraes junior from Santos - Sao Paulo - Brazil - 26 December 2003
"Wonderfull ! I would like to say this : Rosslyn has many hide mysteries for who knows where to look and more, in places where we can't look, but we know that it's there... ...That G.A.D.U. bless you all"

4 Kis Laszlo from Hungary - 22 December 2003
"Yes, it's True ....."

5 Ian McAusland from Renfrew - 12 December 2003
"Originally from Paisley. Great wee toon with a great wee fitba' team! Saint Mirren!"

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Internet Links
Rosslyn Chapel official site
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