The presence of the Templars in Tuscany | Italia Mia |

Walking on the ancient way the "Via Francigena", I have come across the traces of the Templars. Even though many complexes of this mysterious order were devasted by order of King Philip il Bello of France, a few architectural complexes are left and not completely lost.
Remains of the Templar Order in Tuscany can be found along the Via Francigena and along the Via Cassia, which crosses through Florence. The architectural complexes, such as "Magioni", for example, were the Maison. These Templar hospices were adapted to receive pilgrims. We find them almost everywhere as this was their main function.
The town of Pisa constitutes an important basis for both pilgrimages and the military actions of the Crusades, that is to say, traveling to the Holy Land. The House of the Temple of St. Sophia now destroyed was outside the city wall in Via Nicola Pisano. Belonging to other military monastic orders, are the church of Santa Maria della Spina and the Holy Sepulchre, that has the same pattern of the real Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
In San Gimignano, the church of S. Jacopo de Templars, according to tradition, was built by the knights once they return from the First Crusade, but the religious symbol on the main entrance is certainly of a later period. The mansion of St. John in Jerusalem, in Poggibonsi, belonged to the Knights Templars and Hospitallers. This building rises at an ancient crossing of the river Staggia, on the Via Francigena. Today it is home of the Militia of the Temple.
Finally in Siena, at the northern entrance at door Camollia, the Church of St. Peter the Mansion dates back 998 a.D. It was for sure the 'House of the Temple' from documents dating to 1200. Nowdays it is property of the Knights of Malta.

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