Officially approved by the Catholic Church in 1129, the Knights Templar grew rapidly in size and power. The Knights Templar used it as distinctive a white robe with a red cross on it. Member of the Order of the Temple were among the best-trained military units that participated in the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the Order managed a complex economic structure throughout the Christian world, creating new financial techniques that constitute an early form of modern bank building and a series of fortifications throughout the Mediterranean and the Holy Land.
The success of the Templars is closely linked to the Crusades; the loss of the Holy Land led to the disappearance of the support of the Order. In addition, rumors generated around the secret initiation ceremony of the Templars created great distrust. Felipe IV of France, greatly indebted to the Order, began pressuring Pope Clement V in order that it take action against its members. In 1307, a large number of Templars were arrested, induced to confess under torture and later burned at the stake. In 1312, Clement V gave in to the pressures of Felipe and dissolved the Order. The sudden disappearance of its social structure led to much speculation and legends, which have kept alive the name of the Knights Templar to the present day.