Underground tunnels recently found in the Holy Land that lead to an ancient Templar stronghold suggest that it was for moving treasure. But where is the treasure now? May some of it still be in the tunnels?
Recently, Dr. Albert Lin, using LiDAR (a type of laser range finder) and followed by a documentary crew from National Geographic, discovered under a parking lot in Acre a series of 800-year-old tunnels and a guard house used by the infamous Order of the Knights Templar during the Third Crusade… and one of their last known headquarters. Lin believes the Templars used these tunnels to safely transport gold and other treasure back and forth from the nearby port to a part of the fortress dubbed the “treasure tower.”
The team also built an augmented reality app that shows what the fortress would have looked like in the 13th century.
The Knights Templar controlled the city of Acre for a little over 100 years. The Order left Acre in 1291 when the city was re-taken by the Muslims, and they then moved their headquarters to the island of Cyprus. But within a decade, with their foothold in the Holy Land gone, support for the Order began to wane. When France’s King Philip IV took power, the royal family was deeply in debt to the Templars, so to avoid paying back this debt and in an attempt to seize their reputed treasure, Philip arrested and tortured and then killed the Grand Master Jacques de Molay and other members of the order. Pope Clement V officially disbanded the order in 1312. Yet when their headquarters were raided, no treasure was ever found.
The remains of the Templar fortress in Acre is buried under many feet of rubble, so there are currently no plans to excavate the site. Yet the question still remains: where is the Templar’s fabled treasure?
To see the underground Templar caves, check out this National Geographic video.